Monday, May 14, 2018

The Power of a Leisure Reading Collection in Academic Libraries

Summary: This article looked at promoting student reading in an academic library by creating a section for leisure reading with a display and newly acquired high-interest books. Concerns for creating this collection addressed budget and staff issues. Fortunately, “staff felt collections benefited their users by offering a means of relaxation and stress relief and saw them as a way to encourage patrons into the library and introduce them to new ideas” (2017, Hurst et. al., p. 442). Book selection was also critical to creating a well-used collection; decisions were made to purchase relatively new books, published in 2016, but also popular series books were also added to the list as well. Book selection was also influenced by a student survey both in print and online in order which produced additional student buy-in. After 2 months of studying the use of the new leisure reading collection, the authors found that out of the 578 books in the collection, 352 were circulated. In addition the article referenced the study by Bosman that found that the promotion of reading for pleasure could change student perceptions of the library” (2017, Hurst et. al., p. 451). If students are reading high interest books, this can only help the overall use of any library.
Evaluation: This article discussed the well-researched idea that leisure reading provides an escape for stressed students and offers them a “break” from academia. It also addressed the effect leisure reading has on individual reading comprehension reading skills and I really enjoyed reading this article. Since universities are in the business of research and knowledge, I think sometimes students are overwhelmed and stressed and I loved that this university decided to offer students a reprieve from their day to day life of studying, working, and analyzing.

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