Reading Engagement

When students are encouraged to pursue their own interests and passions and are free to choose from a rich collection within an inviting environment, they are motivated to read and their reading and depth of understanding improve.

The Learning Commons can nurture good reading habits among students.

Ideas to Consider for Motivating Readers
  • Connecting individual students to ‘just the right’ book or other reading material
  • Providing opportunities for learners to see themselves reflected in what they read
  • Providing incentives and celebrating individual reading achievements
  • Supplying titles and genres to meet specific individual interests
  • Honouring student choices and views with physical and virtual displays
  • Promoting a wide variety of reading materials through booktalks, readers’ choice displays, book blogs, etc.
  • Providing an open and inviting physical and virtual space
Ideas to Consider for Connecting Readers
  • Organizing and leading online and face-to-face book clubs
  • Encouraging students to prepare and share book talks and critical reviews in multiple formats
  • Utilizing social networking tools to activate discussions (e.g. social bookmarking sites and Interactive Video Conferencing)
  • Inviting authors, illustrators, poets and experts to work with students
  • Partnering with public libraries to promote their resources and literacy programs
  • Connecting with other community resources (e.g., inter-generational and buddy)

Ideas to Consider for Supporting Readers
  • Providing a rich and diverse collection with equitable access for all
  • Creating an atmosphere that fosters intellectual freedom and the power to choose to explore ideas, question beliefs and reach personally significant understandings
  • Providing a trusting environment that respects the privacy of readers, their selections and explorations of diverse ideas
  • Modeling and facilitating active reading (e.g. reflecting, questioning, predicting, connecting and evaluating)
  • Teaching effective search strategies that enable independent and relevant learning
  • Creating a collaboratively developed virtual library collection
  • Providing audio books and assistive technology tools to meet all student needs

Ideas to Consider for Fostering Reading Communities
  • Selecting the best resources and technology tools to support differentiated instruction
  • Implementing sustained silent reading programs (e.g., SSR, DEAR)
  • Celebrating reading through special events (e.g. Canada Book Day, Freedom to Read Week, etc.)
  • Facilitating reading programs such as the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading® programs (e.g.Blue Spruce, Silver Birch, Red Maple, White Pine, Le Prix Tamarack)
  • Building a physical and virtual collection of professional reading materials and websites
  • Facilitating professional learning communities
  • Reflecting school plans for literacy improvement in the Learning Commons


Ontario research shows that where enthusiastic leadership in a library exists, learners enjoy reading and a school enjoys higher levels of student achievement.

 - Klinger et al, Queen's University, 2006