I believe a significant role of the teacher librarian is to promote the VALUE of reading children’s literature. TL’s can create opportunities for children to emotionally engage with text; work with teachers and students to develop protracted and reflective reading practices an, as Zipes mentions, “demonstrate how reading fosters critical thinking, sensitivity, pleasure and civic responsibility” (2009, p.42) and “bring readers together with other readers to discuss the qualities” of the text or the content (p. 39). The TL’s role is to provide access to a range of children’s lit in many formats (digital & print). Collaborate with teachers, encourage them to design specific programs and activities to engage children in reading, explore the use of blogging or social media to do so; encourage teachers to continue to read aloud in the classroom – recommend class texts. I agree that children read differently today, and if books have been “incorporated into a culture of entertainment” (Zipe, 2009, p. 33) then it is the responsibility of the TL to improve student’s appreciation of why we read literature. Le Guins’s description of the book as “social vector” (Zipe, 2009, p. 38), a pathway to understanding ourselves and the world we live in appeals to me. TL’s are well placed to make reading meaningful to students in ways other than literacy instruction (alphabetic literacy/comprehension) or entertainment.
Zipes, J. (2009). Misreading children and the fate of the book in Relentless progress the reconfiguration of children’s literature, fairy tales, and storytelling. London: Routledge.