Tips for Getting Boys Interested in Reading

ImageFor great tips on getting boys interested in reading, take a look at Stealthy Readers' Advisory: Getting Boys to Read, written by Dawn Wacek (director of the Rice Lake (WI) Public Library.) Here's an excerpt from the article (with emphases added by me):

  • Our next programming idea was aimed a little younger, and perhaps this was why we had more success -- we started a Lego Club. While this program wasn’t exclusively for boys, you wouldn’t have guessed it from the crowd who showed up: primarily boys in middle grades, who showed up in droves. Each month included a theme for building which made it easy to tie into books and reading. Medieval castles? Plenty of books on that. Rockets and Outer Space? No problem. And, regardless of theme, we could always display the Lego books -- those on building as well as Beginning Reader or Ninjago stories.
  • For teens, over time we’ve built an incredibly popular teen space by adding a Wii and an Xbox. We have games for the teens to play in-house, or to check out. We subscribe to Gamepro, Game Informer, GameStop and Nintendo magazines and leave those out in the teen space. We host Halo nights and teen movie nights, and the crowd hanging out in our library after school is 40+ teens, two-thirds of them boys. While they might not always be reading, they look at books and magazines in between their turns on the games or computers, they teach each other how to play new games, they recommend new materials and programming ideas to us. And they use our library every day we’re open. We count this as a success. Plus, when these boys do decide to read, they (now) know us well enough to actually ask for help.

Make sure to go to Stealthy Readers' Advisory: Getting Boys to Read to get inspired by what's worked for Rice Lake & 3 other libraries, plus download Dawn's PDF of RLPL's favorite books, series and authors to share with boys of a variety of ages. Hat tip to Indianhead Federated Library System's Keeping Up with Kids: IFLS Youth Services blog