Another dot in the blogosphere?

Reading, narrowly defined

Posted on: June 15, 2017

According to this TODAY article, an NLB survey revealed that 7% of 3,500 locals “did not read in the past year, whether it be books, e-books, online or print news articles, or magazines”.

That was the pretext for launching the National Reading Movement last year.

I have no objection to reading and enjoy the process. What I worry about is the narrow definition of what “reading” is and what the purposes of reading are.

From the examples of reading material, reading seems to focus on text. How about reading (interpreting) images and videos, particularly in non-book media?

Is the purpose of reading restricted to justifying the conventional function of libraries, e.g., lending books and promoting basic literacies?

How about promoting fluencies of different sorts of reading? Do readers think critically about what they read and watch? How do they discuss what they read and listen to?
 

 
If you do not consider these functions of libraries or examples of “reading”, lift your nose up from between those dusty pages and evaluate what is happening around you.

Libraries are more important than ever, but not just for the reasons of old. They are not just places to borrow books to read. They are spaces to self-define, learn independently and critically, and possibly find community.

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