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Reading Aloud Library Service

By ann | May 22, 2015

Why read aloud to older kids and teen?

Read the following excerpted from the American Libraries magazine May 2015 issue, pg 23. It’s an interview with Newsmaker: Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend and other young adult titles. Kody answers the question,-What kind of service would you like to see libraries offer to people with visual impairment?
When I was a kid, there was this strange, negative bias toward nonvisual reading. I think it still exists today. For some reason, people don’t consider having something read aloud to you as “real reading.” I’ve even been told that listening to an audiobook isn’t “real reading.” This is obviously problematic as it excludes those with visual and reading disabilities, and it also shames those who may be auditory learners over visual learners. I was lucky that my mother never had this attitude and read to me well into my teen years; even still, when I visit her, we’ll read together. It was her reading to me that led me to audiobook, which is how I do most of my reading today. If teachers and librarians did this regularly, for teens as well as kids, I think we’d begin to see that attitude about real reading change, and we might even see an increased interest in reading overall. I’d love to see libraries implement reading programs for older kids and teens, maybe doing weekly read-aloud sessions, inviting not just those with disabilities, but anyone who wants to listen. I think everyone enjoys being read to, and if we normalize that, then we can foster more readers, both with and without disability.

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