Research into reading, the promotion of reading and literature education

Library influence

-> Children who regularly visit the library have a more positive attitude towards reading. Library averse children think that they lack the skill to choose books.

-> A library at school stimulates reading proficiency and pleasure in reading. This happens, in particular, if the staff are highly educated, the opening hours are flexible and the collection of books is extensive and up-to-date.

Visit the public library is related to reading pleasure

There is a positive correlation between one's attitude towards reading and visiting the library. The more pleasure children have in reading, the more often they will go to the library to borrow a book. On the other hand, school pupils who avoid the library often do not like reading very much (Stalpers, 2006; CHOICE, 2010).

In addition to the attitude towards reading, three further factors have an effect on visits to the library. These are one's attitude towards the library, the social norms of parents and friends, and confidence in using the library and find whatever one needs (knowledge and skills). These variables explain 50% of the differences in the frequency of visits by adult members of the library (Bos, 2009).

In the case of secondary school pupils, this figure is 42%. Attitudes and social norms, in particular, are decisive. Young people who attach a positive value to the library and are stimulated to visit the library by their parents and friends do so more often. Their knowledge and skills have an effect through their attitude. The more they trust that they will be able to find the books that they need and understand how the catalogue works, the more positive their attitude and the more regular their visits to the library will be (Stalpers, 2011).

Factors stimulating library visits

Regular visits to the library also have a positive correlation with reading performance in addition to pleasure in reading. Children who themselves are library members or whose parents are members, perform better at school in language and reading proficiency (Baeg, Choi, Lee & Lee, 2012).

Correlations between the presence a school library and reading performance

School libraries offer access to the Internet and books, newspapers and magazines in printed and digital form. The presence of a library at school stimulates the reading proficiency of primary and secondary school pupils (Lance, Schwarz & Rodney, 2014; Lance & Schwarz, 2012Lance, Rodney & Hamilton-Pennell, 2005).

School libraries which are adequately staffed appear to result in additional gains. A larger number of librarians and multimedia librarians correlates closely to the reading proficiency of pupils. This applies, in particular, if the staff are well educated and certified (Lance, Schwarz & Rodney, 2014; Lance & Schwarz, 2012; Lance & Hofschire, 2012; Lance, Rodney & Hamilton-Pennell, 2005).

Well-staffed school libraries appear better able to realise a number of objectives. The reading performance of children has a positive correlation with an extended, varied and up-to-date offering of books, and ample and flexible opening hours. The same applies if the librarians support the teachers. This can be done by offering reading materials, compiling reading materials together, planning reading activities and motivating pupils to read (Lance, Schwarz & Rodney, 2014; Lance & Schwarz, 2012; Lance, Rodney & Hamilton-Pennell, 2005). In the Netherlands, a number of these ingredients have been worked out in the approach of the Library at School.

A school library not only stimulates reading proficiency, but also pleasure in reading. Five percent of the differences in the motivation to read of primary school pupils can be explained by the characteristics of the school, the most important characteristic being the presence of a school library (Nielen, 2014). The presence of a teacher, who doubles as the school librarian, appears to help. This is a well-educated and certified school librarian, who helps pupils select books, reads aloud to them and supervises them when they do their homework (Ontario Library Association, 2006).

Leesmonitor (2019). Library influence.
Reading Monitor (2019). Library influence.