School Librarian's Role in Reading Toolkit

Annotated Bibliography

Research on Reading/Literacy:

Blachowicz, C. L., and D. Ogle. 2008. Reading Comprehension: Strategies for Independent Learners. (2nd ed.) NY: Guilford Press.

These researchers discuss reading comprehension strategies, which are consciously controlled by the reader, and the processes by which teachers engage readers to actively construct meaning. They discuss “before reading” strategies (previewing the text, setting a purpose for reading, asking questions, making predictions), during reading strategies (continually predicting, inferring, questioning, monitoring comprehension), and after reading strategies (using multiple resources to cross check information, summarizing, synthesizing, applying new knowledge). They specify the teacher’s role in modeling the strategies, monitoring students’ independent practice, assessing their achievement, and re-teaching when warranted.

Gordon C., and Y. Lu. 2007. "'I Hate to Read--Or Do I?': Low Achievers and Their Reading." School Library Media Research, vol. 11.
(Accessed June 29, 2009). This is phase two of the study in "Reading Takes You Places" (Lu and Gordon, 2007). It describes the reading attitudes of the low-achieving students who participated in a Web-based summer reading program. The findings challenge assumptions about struggling readers.

Krashen, S. D. 2004. The Power of Reading: Insights from Research. Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann.

Krashen gathers the relevant studies on free voluntary reading (FVR) and its impact on literacy.

Lu, Y., and C. Gordon. 2007. "Reading Takes You Places: A Study of a Web-based Summer Reading Program." School Library Media Research, vol. 10. (Accessed June 29, 2009).This research study explores a Web-based summer reading program's impact on participants.

Schmoker, M. 2006. Results Now: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Schmoker's book focuses on breaking through the illusion that literacy is being explicitly taught in schools. He suggests that the "Crayola Curriculum" in many schools has students who are not achieving spending more time on arts and crafts than language and literacy. Further, he provides solutions to this problem, primarily through professional learning communities.

Reading Comprehension/Literacy Strategies:

Allen, J. 2000. Yellow Brick Roads: Shared and Guided Paths to Independent Reading 4-12. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

Janet Allen provides research-based methods for helping struggling and at-risk readers improve comprehension. The book includes practical tips, reading strategies, and resources.

Allen, J. 2004. Tools for Teaching Content Literacy. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

This user-friendly flipchart gives an overview of thirty-three, research-based reading strategies. It is an excellent resource for the SL to share with content area teachers.

Beers, S., and L. Howell. 2003. Reading Strategies for the Content Areas, Volume 1: An ASCD Action Tool. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Beers provides 84 research-based reading tools. Each reading tool includes complete how-to-use instructions, examples, and template.

Burke, J. 2002. The Internet Reader. Educational Leadership 60, no. 3, 38-42.

Burke explains how to use questioning strategies before and during an online search and when reading to improve understanding and evaluate web sites. He also gives examples of "digital textbooks."

Bush, G. 2005. Every Student Reads: Collaboration and Reading to Learn. Chicago: AASL.

Contributors Peter Afflerbach, Carol Gordon, Stephen Krashen, Donna Ogle, and AASL 2004 Fall Forum Participants review reading strategies and best practices and offer ideas for collaborating with teachers on reading instruction grades K-12. It includes a chapter on fostering independent reading.

Coiro, J. (2005). Making Sense of Online Text. Educational Leadership 63, no. 2, 30-35.

Coiro reveals how asking and answering four questions can make adolescents "savvy online readers."

Grimes, S. 2006. Reading Is Our Business: How Libraries Can Foster Reading Comprehension. Chicago: American Library Association.

Grimes emphasizes the link between students' love of reading and their ability to comprehend text. She focuses on seven reading strategies to improve reading comprehension and reading engagement.

Joyce, M. Z. 2006. "A Niche for Library Media Specialists: Teaching Students How to Read Informational Texts." Library Media Connection 24, no. 7, 36-38.

This article discusses strategies for improving reading comprehension. These strategies include monitoring comprehension, using graphic and semantic organizers, and answering and generating questions.

Harvey, S., and A. Goudvis. 2000. Strategies that Work: Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

The book provides specific strategies for teaching reading comprehension. In order to communicate effectively with classroom teachers, SLMSs should be familiar with the terms used in this text.

Henry, L. A. 2006. SEARCHing for an Answer: The Critical Role of New Literacies While Reading on the Internet. The Reading Teacher 59, no. 7, 614-627.

Henry discusses reading strategies needed for information retrieval. Then she describes how to help students become efficient and effective online searchers by using the SEARCH method.

Keene, E. O., and S. Zimmermann. 1997. Mosaic of Thought: Teaching Comprehension in a Reader's Workshop. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

This is a text on which many other reading comprehension strategy books are founded. Written in a narrative style as a series of classroom vignettes, Keene and Zimmermann highlight instructional scenarios and primary students' learning.

Leu, D. J., Jr., L. Zawilinski, J. Casteck, M. Banerjee, B. C. Housand, Y. Liu, et al. 2007. What Is New about the New Literacies of Online Reading Comprehension? In L. S. Rush, A. J. Eakle, & A. Berger (eds.), Secondary School Literacy: What Research Reveals for Classroom Practice (pp. 37-68). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. (Accessed June 30, 2009). In this chapter, Leu et al. define the five major functions of new literacies in ways that are very familiar to school librarians:

  1. identifying important questions,
  2. locating information,
  3. analyzing information,
  4. synthesizing information, and
  5. communicating information (p. 45).

Leu et al. posit that online and offline reading comprehension are different in significant ways and that proficiency in one does not guarantee proficiency in the other.

Moreillon, J. 2007. Collaborative Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension: Maximizing Your Impact. Chicago: ALA Editions.

In this book, the author provides background information for understanding seven reading comprehension strategies and shows how and why classroom teachers and SLMSs should collaborate for reading instruction. The book, written for K-6 SLMSs, includes 21 sample lesson plans at 3 stages of literacy development. Downloadable graphic organizers, rubrics, and sample work are downloadable from the ALA Editions Web site:

Sutherland-Smith, W. 2002. Weaving the Literacy Web: Changes in Reading From Page to Screen. The Reading Teacher 55, no. 7, 662-669.

The author argues that reading online requires a different set of skills for making meaning. She offers strategies to help students locate and read materials on the Web.

Tabereski, S. 2000. On Solid Ground: Strategies for Teaching Reading K-3. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Tabereski shares her insights on teaching reading by focusing on four "interconnected interactions": assessment, demonstration, practice, and response.

Tovani, C. 2000. I Read it, But I Don't Get It. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

An informative guide about how to teach reading comprehension strategies to secondary students.

_____. 2004. Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

Tovani continues her reading strategy guide in this volume, which provides more suggestions for reading strategies in the content areas.

Zimmermann, S., and C. Hutchins. 2003. 7 Keys to Comprehension: How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get It!. New York: Three Rivers Press.

This book was written to teach parents reading comprehension strategies and help them understand how to engage their children with the strategies while reading together. The book explains seven strategies clearly and concisely and recommends specific book titles and interactions with texts.

Reading Motivation and Engagement:

Guthrie, J. T. 2001. Contexts for Engagement and Motivation in Reading. Reading Online 4, no. 8. (Accessed June 30, 2009). Guthrie includes a literature review of research on reading motivation and engagement and explains the seven characteristics of an engaged classroom. The information also applies to libraries.

Wilhelm, J.D. 2007. You Gotta BE the Book. New York: Teachers College Press.

For Wilhelm, making reading personally meaningful is the secret to engaging reluctant, adolescent readers. He draws on personal experience as a teacher to reveal a variety of reading strategies and activities for motivating teen readers.

Collection Development:

Hubert, J. 2007. Reading Rants: A Guide to Books That Rock! New York: Neal-Schuman.

Hubert (who also writes the "Reading Rants" Website) divides her book into 10 main categories (examples are "Boy Meets Book" and "Graduating Hogwarts"). She then gives a brief description of the types of books that might make the list and places to find them. Following that, each section has an annotated book list which includes information on the story, its probable audience, "why it rocks," possible pairings, and review sources. A great resource for teen/YA books.

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