Who in your neighbourhood supports teen reading?
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.