Creating a School-Wide Reading Culture



Here is a video for those of us who may be struggling with new technology.   Who knew moving from scrolls to books could be so confusing?

(Image and video from

The above image and video are part of a Reading Culture wiki I wanted to share as my main resource for how to create a reading culture in our schools and classrooms.  It was designed by four teachers as part of their Masters program; one being a local (Coquitlam) middle school teacher-librarian, Tu Loan Trieu.  In 2012, I was able to attend a Pro-D workshop she put on about this subject and at the end of the session, she gave us a link to this wiki.  At the  time, I glanced throught the resources on the site, but as a TOC I have not had the opportunity to implement any of the suggestions, so I bookmarked the site for future reference but hadn’t looked at it since. When I learned that this week’s topic was about fostering a reading culture in our schools I immediately thought to share this resource so this week I decided to take a closer look at the resources listed on the site.

Unfortunately, some of the links on the wiki are no longer available, but there is still enough information here to make this a valuable resource.  Tu Loan made a short Animoto video to highlight some of the ideas she has used to create a reading culture at her school.  The following is a list of some other links I looked at on the site with strategies to encourage students to read.
This site from New Zealand gives some ideas about how to use classrooms, hallways, the staff room, teachers, and the principal’s office to promote a reading culture in the school.  It has articles on boys and reading, how to create reading-friendly environments and how teachers can act as reading role models.
This post at the Reading Zone blog outlines a few ideas to get students reading at the secondary level.  The most basic one is surrounding the students with books, not only in the library but in classrooms and even in the hallways.  The author also suggests other ideas such as book talks, book clubs, and encouraging teachers to read YA books and talk about them with their students either in person or using social media.
This site talks about how to get struggling readers interested in reading.  The author outlines how a writing tutor got his dyslexic son interested in reading for pleasure, which prompted him to change the way he thought about reading in his classroom.  At the end of the article, a reading list of books is supplied that encouraged his students to become passionate readers.
This page is part of wiki and shows how students can make a book trailer. This and other ideas for using technology to encourage a reading culture are found on the Using Technology page of the Reading Culture wiki.  These include using skype for author visits, having students create online book reviews, following reading blogs to get ideas from others, and encouraging students to join online book clubs.


I like the Reading Culture wiki because the creators have set up their ideas in three steps:
1. Just a Taste – simple ideas teacher-librarians can use to encourage their students to read
2. Full Meal Deal – ideas that require some collaboration with classroom teachers
3. Room for Dessert – ideas that require a school-wide effort and should only be attempted if you have a well established reading culture at your school.

As a TOC I have seen some of the ideas from Reading Culture in action: DEAR, Battle of the Books, school-wide reads, get caught reading posters, and having students create bookmarks for the library.  I think it is possible for teacher-librarians to implement a number of strategies that will encourage students to read, but in order to create a school-wide reading culture the administration and other teachers need to be on board.  Students need to see all the adults at the school making reading a priority and acting as role models.


One last look to inspire us to create a school-wide reading culture at our schools.



Works Consulted

n.a. (n.d.) Creating a reading culture. National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved from

Reading-Active-and-Engaging (n.d.) Book Trailers. Retrieved from

Redford, Kyle. (2011, November 16). Creating a reading culture for struggling readers. The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. Retrieved from

The Reading Zone. (2012, March 5) Building a Culture of Literacy at the Secondary Level – Share a Story, Shape a Future 2012.  The Reading Zone. Retrieved from

Trieu, Tu Loan et al. (2012). Reading Culture. Retrieved from



Filed under LIBE 477

2 responses to “Creating a School-Wide Reading Culture

  1. Great blog post! I loved the “rights as a reader” infographic, and always love that video about the new “Book” technology. Super funny to see and reminds us that formats come and go, but the content is whats most important. Thank you for sharing so many good resources, strategies and reminders that a school culture cannot be changed by one person alone. It requires buy-in from staff and admin as well. Good multi-media, good tagging and great writing.

  2. Thanks for the resources! I have bookmarked your link on making book trailers to my Delicious account for later use with my library TAs. I hope to get them making book trailers this semester to promote reading at my school.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s