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Teen Read Week kicks off at local libraries

Monday, October 15, 2007

Teen Read Week began Sunday and will continue until Saturday.

Riverside Regional Library and Central High School are among thousands of other libraries, schools and bookstores nationwide to celebrate this year's teen read week theme, "LOL @ your Library.[CloseDouble]

This year's theme encourages teens to read humorous books and graphic novels. The event is the national adolescent literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association.

"One of the most important ways teens acquire the habit of reading is by watching adults they respect read," said Lynn Farrow, children's librarian at Riverside Regional Library.

She also agrees with studies that show a regular reading habit increases reading proficiency.

Riverside Regional Library will have a display celebrating Teen Read Week and encourages teens to visit the library and sign up for a chance to win a free book during Teen Read Week.

Cape Central High School will celebrate with daily contests that include prizes. One contest involves guessing how many fiction books are in the library, librarian Julia Jorgensen said. "A week that celebrates reading is what we're all about," she said.

"Statistics are abysmal for the number of teenagers that read at grade level. One would tend to think the sky is falling," she said.

Jorgensen said that on a broader scope, including the amount of reading done online or in text messaging, teens are reading and although she'd like to see more students reading the classics, the first step is to get them to enjoy reading, then go to the meatier stuff.

"I really endorse 'LOL,'" Jorgensen said. "I think I read that in the last three years 25 percent more young adult titles are being published."

Other activities at the school library include encouraging staff members to share a favorite book title with students and decorating the library with banners.

"Today's teens seem to have less and less free time and there are increasingly more activities for them to take part in during what little leisure time they have," Farrow said. "That is why it's important to encourage teens to set aside some time to read. Literacy is a topic of both local and national concern."

For suggestions on celebrating Teen Read Week 2007, visit wikis.ala.org/yalsa/index.php/Teen_Read_Week.

cpagano@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 133


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