School libraries go book spotting

28th August 1998 at 01:00
A Pounds 382,000 lottery windfall is behind a plot to raise the popularity of Scottish authors among teenagers. Now read on ...

Around 45,000 books will be heading for school libraries in a literature drive that will see all secondaries sent three free copies of 36 different Scottish titles.

The Scottish Library Association wants to lift the profile of authors such as Iain Banks, Robin Jenkins and A L Kennedy and encourage 14 to 16-year-olds to pick Scottish writers in their review of personal reading in Higher English.

The Scottish Arts Council, which has made the lottery award, says young Scots often avoid native writers. Schools will also receive packages of display and interpretive materials and CD-Roms. A part-time writer-in-residence will be available on a website to answer student queries about texts.

Jenny Brown, the arts council's literature director, said: "This has the potential to inform the reading habits of the next generation. By highlighting certain authors and books it may be possible to encourage people to try books."

Ms Brown said the initiative would counter recent negative publicity surrounding the distribution of Everyman English classics to secondaries. Some librarians said pupils would not read Charles Dickens or Jane Austen and turned them down.

Young people will be consulted about the titles they would like to read. Ms Brown said: "There will be a core of books selected but no prescriptive list for the whole of the country. For example, teachers in Aberdeen could suggest local writers."

A study three years ago by Dr Jim McGonigal, of St Andrew's College, found only around 11 per cent of Higher candidates chose Scottish authors in their review of personal reading. In some schools, a quarter of pupils chose Scottish texts, in others it was below one in 10.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now