Reading has cognitive consequences that extend beyond the general notion of an extra-curricular activity. Accumulated over time, the reading habit of students has profound implications for the development of a wide range of cognitive capabilities. Reading is not only essential for academic growth, but is also required for intellectual growth. So developing reading skills in children cannot be just conceived as a scholastic activity, it is a life-long process.
The School Library is the central focus in the teaching and learning process. It is essential for the student to learn and master information acquisition skills so that the capability for self-learning can be developed in the child, making him a life-long learner. Cultivation of individual and collective habits of reading is essential for the intellectual growth of the child.
A system of awarding Library Points to reward the readers for their reading and library related activities was introduced in 2011 as the first step towards motivating the students to read. Prior to this, the students were not bothered about the quantity or quality of the library resources they have utilized. The reading achievement awards and the best user awards distributed during the previous year have found to be made and impact among the students and we wanted to retain the interest so generated. Also there should be a quantitative fool proof method which is transparent for selecting the Best User of the Month and the Reading Achievement Awards.
The library points were awarded to the students for their library usage and library behavior. To ensure the transparency of the library point system, the points awarded to the students were made available on library website (http://kvklibrary.in) where anyone can search the library points secured by the students. The students were also able to point out any errors and omissions in the library points awarded.
Library points were given to the students in the following ways.
The students will be given 2 library points for every book they borrow from the library. In order to encourage returning of books in time, negative point is also introduced. Every late return results in 1 point to be deducted.
The students are encouraged to write book reviews and to maintain notes on what they have read in the library. For every book review 2 points were awarded and similarly for library notes 1 point is given to the students. Posting the book reviews online will also help to get 1 bonus point.
The lack of interest from the students to participate in the library or book related contests and competitions organized by the Vidyalaya revealed their disinterest in the routine competitions like literary quiz, book review competition and various other regular activities. So we have devised innovative competitions for our students and along with the prizes library points were also given to encourage more participation in the competitions.
The idea for Book Title Challenge was born from the Technothlon competition organized by IIT Guwahati in which they have introduced Think Out of the Box kind of questions. The way the questions were presented in the contest and the curiosity it generated among the students encouraged me to think of creating such type of challenges related to the books. Book Title Challenge presented before the students an innovative challenge to identify the titles of the books from the graphical clue shown. The response from the students was highly encouraging that we organized the challenge twice in the session.
Class of Readers AwardThe School Reading Together is organised in the school where in all the staff and students are encouraged to spent one hour reading a book. This is to create a reading friendly environment in the Vidyalaya and to motivate the reluctance students to reading.
Library Treasure Hunt aims to:
In the Library Treasure Hunt, a set of ready reference questions will be posted on the library notice board and library website for which the students have find answers from the best suitable reference source. Each correct answer will be given 1 mark and an additional two points will be given to the correct answer taken from the appropriate reference source with the correct reference format.
Get Caught Reading was introduced during the National Library Week celebration (14-20 November 2011) as a new method to get the students to make use of their free time in the school effectively. The who were get caught reading a book inside or outside their classroom during their free time (like lunch break) were photographed and they were rewarded in the assembly. Library points were also awarded to the students.
Every month a student was selected as the best user based on the library points he/she secured during the month concerned. The user of the month was announced every month and the students were rewarded with books of their choice in the morning assembly. The photographs of the winners were also published on the library website. These have helped in motivating the students in effectively utilizing the library resources, making the task of selecting the best user difficult for us.
Every session the classes that secure more than 1000 library points will be selected as the Class of Readers and an attractive big certificate is awarded in the morning assembly. Similarly weekly appreciation certificates are given to the selected class for best library usage and behavior to encourage proper utilization of the library resources.
A blog was hosted at http://kvreaders.blogspot.in in 2011 to provide the students a platform for sharing their reading experiences. It was seen that only a handful of students submitted their book reviews to the library or to the language teachers. Making it as a must to write a review of the book they have read have shown negative results making some of the students to keep away from borrowing books from the library. This attitude prompted me to have a blog for the students and to reward them with library points for every review submitted in the library. Bonus points were awarded to the students those who have published the reviews online so as to encourage them to explore the possibilities of ICT and have helped them in making use of blogs as a platform for interaction and creative writing. The number of reviews submitted online crossed 600 recently compared to the handful of reviews that was reluctantly shown to the librarian the previous academic session. The book reviews written by the students online are linked to the library catalogue so that the students have access to the book review concerned on searching the catalogue. The catalogue also provide information to the books which are yet to be reviewed and a link to directions to how to write a book review.
The vidyalaya library celebrates World Book Day (April 23), Book Week (August), International School Library Month (October), National Library Week and other important Book Exhibitions from the leading book publishers and sellers were organized during these celebrations. Three book fairs were organized this session. Besides this, topical exhibitions were organized with the available resources in the library during the Gandhi Jayanti, World Environment Day, Swami Vivekananda’s Birth Anniversary, Premchand Divas etc.
The Gift a Book on Your Birthday was introduced this year and the students were rewarded with library points for making book donations to the library. The name of students along with the book donated was posted on the website. The response from the students was really heartening. Library points are also given for every donation received from the students.
The results of the library points system were heartening. Even the reluctant students were motivated to issue books from the library and the improvement was visible in timely return of the books. Those who took books initially for the sake of securing points were seen to be turning into good readers. On an average, more than 100 books are being issued every day. The response from the parents side was also encouraging. The activities and the enthusiasm shown by our students towards library and reading, which was evident from the library website and the library blogs, resulted in the library getting donations and prizes to the students from our parents and alumni. Every year the Outstanding Readers of the Year are given books worth Rs. 1000/ which is sponsored by our alumni Mr. Kiran Ramachandran.