Team member and Deakin University PhD candidate Anne-Marie May is researching how booksellers and librarians influence teen recreational reading at the physical sites of bookstores, school libraries, and public libraries. She takes a geographically located approach to investigate the sites of book culture and the networks between them that comprise a local reading ecology for teens. Anne-Marie has selected an inner-Melbourne local government area for her study for its distribution and density of secondary school campuses, public library branches, and independent bookstores, as well as for the cultural and socio-economic diversity of its residents.
Anne-Marie identifies and analyses intermediary practices that impact teen recreational reading from data collected in interviews with booksellers and librarians, and focus groups with secondary school-aged students. These include direct and indirect practices such as book talk, readers’ advisory, read-alikes, shelf-talkers, promotion of local authors, gatekeeping, displays, genrefication of collections, and book clubs. Affective labour underpins the practices of booksellers and librarians and is key to their networks. Anne-Marie’s work promotes understanding the commonalities and differences between the occupation groups, the barriers they face implementing their practices and how their specific positions in a localised reading ecology impacts their work with teen recreational reading. By doing so, her study aims to answer how these cultural intermediaries can increase their impact on teen recreational reading.
Leonie, Bronwyn and Katya were pleased to present interim findings from the schools survey at the National Education Summit in Melbourne in June 2022. Based on over 3000 survey responses, this presentation included information on how often and how much time teenagers spend reading for pleasure and what they think about reading for pleasure as well as the major challenges to teens reading more.
Professor Katya Johanson and Leonie Rutherford at the ALIA National Conference 2022
Professor Katya Johanson and Associate Professor Leonie Rutherford presented at the Australian Library and Information Association Conference in Canberra on 19 October 2022. The conference theme – diversity was examined in various contexts throughout the conference program. Our presentation focused on publisher understanding of how well their industry served diverse readers, and teacher and teacher-librarian views of the range of reading material provided for young people.
Over 500 Australian teens were asked what their favourite books or series were. Here are their top 10 books or series by Australian authors:
- Once series by Morris Gleitzman
- Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths
- Tomorrow series by John Marsden
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman
- WeirDo series by Anh Do
- Deltora Quest series by Emily Rodda
- Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan
- Zac & Mia by A. J. Betts
- Rondo series by Emily Rodda
We asked over 500 teens what their favourite books or series were. Here are their top 10.
- Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
- The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
- The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
- Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth
- Once series by Morris Gleitzman
- The Fault in our Stars by John Green
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- The Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths
- Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy
The Teen Reading survey asked young people a few questions about how frequently and how much they read in their free time. We were specifically interested in recreational reading, not school or homework. Here’s an early analysis of what we found when we asked how often they read for fun in an average week.
If this seems a lot of teens who don’t read much, we should keep in mind that this statistic only refers to free time, long form reading – study and social media not included!