It has been proven over and over again that reading offers a great deal of benefits for every generation, but especially the younger ones. And it is not only beneficial, it is also fun. So why wouldn’t they read? There can be many reasons – not being able to find the right book, time or, maybe, the lack of an environment that encourages reading. This week’s Princh Library Blog will help you set up your library areas to ensure that your visitors will feel encouraged and welcome to read!

This article was originally posted on the WF Education Group’s website. You can find the original article here.

Why is a supportive reading environment so important?

To enhance the experience of a reader, especially a teenager, the environment in which reading takes place will make a significant impact on several factors. The right space will allow them to absorb information better, improve concentration levels and will increase memory retention.

In 1984, 8% of 13-year-olds said they had never read or hardly ever read books for pleasure. Jump forward to 2014, that number had almost tripled to 22% (Common Sense Media, 2014).

Research also shows that teenagers are reading a lot less frequently than children. 53% of 9-year-olds read for fun every day, but only 19% of 17-year-olds do (Charlotte Alter, 2014).

There are ways we can reignite a teenager’s desire to read, starting with giving them a comfortable and supportive environment to read in.

On-demand Demo with Princhy

Learn the key aspects of Princh! Watch our on-demand demos at your convenience and see what makes Princh such a simple solution. Watch our demos here.

Why is this decline in teen reading so alarming?

The New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) paper ‘Growing Independence: A Summary of Key Findings From the Competent Learners 14 Project’ shows that teens who enjoy reading are more likely to succeed in school and engage better with their various communities.

They found that teenagers who regularly engage in reading:

  • Develop their vocabulary
  • Broaden their imaginations
  • Improve their writing
  • Deal better with the increasing demands of school work
  • Gain confidence when speaking

Coupled with this, Victoria Molfese’s paper “The Role of Environment in the Development of Reading Skills” concluded that the environment of adolescents plays an important role in the development of reading abilities.

Thanks to such research, we now know how important it is for teenagers to read and that giving them a safe and supportive environment to do so is crucial for their development.

What is the solution?

The talented design team at WF Education have been designing amazing library spaces for decades. Their relationships with educators and librarians have given them a deep knowledge of the sector, their desires and needs, and how to best utilise the space and offset challenges. Their experience led to the birth and development of the Everna™ Range.

The Everna™ teen reading range was built to both encourage and support teenagers to read and improve their literacy skills. The five solutions below support a variety of reading and learning styles. The solutions below encourage browsing by providing multiple opportunities to select books and materials; promote reading for pleasure by incorporating comfortable cosy seating areas to curl up with a book; get more usage from your spaces by inspiring and engaging students and staff, maximising utilisation and creating spaces that inspire.

An interview with a teenager about their experience of library provision

To get an insight into a teenager’s views on their library space, we sat down with 15-year-old Keira who regularly visits her local library in Shropshire, England.

Question 1 – What makes you want to spend your time, especially your Friday evenings in the library?

I have a younger brother and the house is always loud and distracting, the library lets me chill and have some quiet time to think and read”.

Question 2 – Do you prefer your public library or your school library?

My public library. Way more books and the seats are actually comfortable.

Question 3 – What do you like most about your public library?

Probably the seating and layout. I can hang out with my friends, it’s quite social but still relaxing and comfortable.

Question 4 – Is there anything you would improve about the library?

…maybe make it more colourful. It’s very dull and needs a touch of paint.

Question 5 – Do you think your library encourages people your age to read?

I don’t often see people my age in there, so probably not. Me and my friends go because we all share a passion for reading, but it’s definitely not the most popular place to hang out if you’re 15.

Question 6 – How many books have you read from your library in the past year?

At least 6, I don’t really have the time to read at home though. I would like to read more if I could.

We will be back next week with another interesting article from the library world!

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