Summary:

This book is a quick, must read for librarians.

Highlights:

  • Boys’ reading level is an average of 1.5 years behind girls
  • 85% of librarians and teachers are female.
  • The lack of male teachers contribute to a boy’s perception that libraries are feminine.
  • A few factors that discourage boys from reading include:
    • stereotypes,
    • absence of fathers,
    • a lack of male role models in schools and libraries.
  • Many teachers and librarians should alter their collections to meet the needs of boys. 
  • Interesting quote – “Boys tend to be more loud, boisterous, and physical than girls. When they exhibit these traits in the library, they are often shushed, glared at, and made to feel unwelcome in a hundred different ways – that is if they are not actually told to leave.”
  • What boys read: Non-fiction, humor, sports, fantasy, adventure, etc.
  • Competitive programs: chess, games, and other challenges

2 Questions to Comment On:

  1. Why are there so few male educators?
  2. Do you know of any neat programs that a library has done to attract boys?

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Chuck

    “Boys tend to be more loud, boisterous, and physical than girls. When they exhibit these traits in the library, they are often shushed, glared at, and made to feel unwelcome in a hundred different ways – that is if they are not actually told to leave.”

    This is a sad fact. This happens in our library. Our library is technically traditional. Old school, you might say. When I was in high school I was shushed by a lady librarian because I was talking with my friends. I could not remember what we were talking about but we were told to shut up. Eventually, we were told to go out because of the noise we created. It was constructive noise as far as I know but then again, libraries (back in the 90’s) are supposed to be soooo quiet. I hope things change for the development of our boys.

    Reply
  • Chuck

    Why are there so few male educators?

    In our school there are more male teachers probably because we are an all-boys-institution.

    Reply
  • Anonymous

    I can’t help but think that it is an issue of money. Most Elementary teachers make less than secondary or post secondary educators. And it seems that in high schools there are male teachers. Food for thought. E

    Reply
  • Karen

    As a retired fifth grade teacher with 25 years of classroom experience, I too once thought that the main reason most men didn’t go into teaching as a career was because of low paying salaries. Now that I am doing research on the web for my former colleagues, I am amazed at the number of men in elementary classrooms. I believe that advances in technology have had much to do with it: SMARTboards, blogging, digital storytelling, the overall incredible revolution in technological advances – all this and more have made the classroom more appealing to men. Top it off with access to the Internet and you have the perfect recipe to appeal to males of all ages. Now maybe with more men in education the salary situation will also change.

    Reply
  • Lydia Schultz

    One thing that I have done in our K to 8 school library is to make games like Chess, Junior Scrabble, and so on available for students (usually boys) to play during “free time” in the library. I also regularly have done origami (or,in all honesty, many paper airplanes) with kids to test which fly best, which do tricks, etc. What usually happens is that the boys choose to borrow books to help them get better at the games or to make their own planes. It gets them engaged where they are.

    Reply
  • Anonymous

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    Reply
  • Micheal Golrick

    And Michael Sullivan is a great speaker as well. If you need a speaker, I highly recommend him! (I think he is still in New Hampshire, and is or was a public library director!)

    Reply
  • Anonymous

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    Reply

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