Teenagers Reading

research for my PhD thesis

Archive for the ‘presentation’ Category

Teenagers’ Reality

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In two and a half weeks ALIA and SLA are holding a Seminar Series for Information Professionals, Reality 2.0, with sessions in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne. Stephen Abram, the current President of SLA, is the keynote speaker at all three sessions, with various local speakers at each session.

What are some of the strategies information professionals need in the changing information world? Stephen will talk about the real needs of real people living the Web 2.0 experience and information and knowledge economy. How can we use Web 2.0 tools to terra-form the living, breathing worlds we inhabit? What are some practical tools we can use? How can professional associations such as SLA and ALIA help?

I wanted to hear Stephen Abram speak, but my research funds will only cover conference expenses if I present a paper. After reading the above and wondering exactly how one “terra-forms the living,” I submitted an abstract, on the off chance an event sponsored by SLA would want to hear about teenagers. Despite living in Perth, thus not being a Brisbane local* my abstract was accepted. I’ll be giving a paper at the Brisbane session on Thursday 11 September 2008. I’ll talk about what the teenagers in my focus groups had to say about Web 2.0, although it’s not a term teenagers mention much, if ever!? It’s all just:

Go on MySpace
Chat to friends on MSN
Or just plain: Google it

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Written by ClareSnow

25 August 2008 at 11:16 am

Comparing two teenagers’ reading habits

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Last week I gave a presentation to fellow research students in the Department of Media and Information at Curtin University. This is the paper of my presentation.

As a part of my research I conducted focus groups with high school students. I talked to about 40 students, but I will concentrate on two students here, Leah and Adam. All students’ names have been changed to ensure confidentiality. Leah was in Year 9 and 14 years old. Adam was in Year 10 and 16 years old.

Leah proudly declared she had never read a book. This was later contradicted when she mentioned the times she found books and other reading materials she had enjoyed. Adam had not always been an avid reader, but he was now and happily discussed what he liked about reading. The two were very different and contradict the stereotypes found in the literature of girls who read [1] and enjoy fiction and boys who don’t read so much but when they do, often enjoy non-fiction [2,3]. They show the diversity that is present among teenagers [4] (as in any group) and the difficulty in making generalisations.
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Written by ClareSnow

11 May 2008 at 7:45 pm

RAILS 4 seminar

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I will be presenting a paper at RAILS 4: Research Applications in Information and Library Studies in Melboune, Australia, 30 November 2007. I will discuss some preliminary results of my focus groups with teenagers.

Abstract

Past research has shown teenagers to be reluctant to read and less likely to visit libraries than younger children. There is some debate over these conclusions and there is a necessity for further investigation. Difficulties abound in researching teenagers’ opinions. Teenagers can be reluctant to participate in activities and peer support is often very important in determining their willingness to take part. Large scale surveys of hundreds of student participants have often been conducted, but this does not allow in-depth discussion of opinions and attitudes.

These difficulties were not insurmountable and discussions with teenagers during focus group sessions at metropolitan high schools were determined a suitable research method. The researcher sat among the group of teenagers during the discussion and this helped participants feel more comfortable talking to the “supposed expert” (although the teenagers might not have agreed, they were really more expert than the researcher in the discussions). The interactions amongst peers also contributed to this reassurance. Problems did occur – participants often repeated themselves and sometimes contradicted themselves, conversations went off topic and needed to be reigned in, and participants talked over the top of each other. Despite these trials, a rich picture of teenager’s views was built from the data gathered.

The discussions led to further understanding of teenagers’ thoughts on reading and libraries. The diversity of participants’ thoughts was striking and although some teenagers were enamoured of reading and libraries, others were more scathing but still found ways to take part in literacy activities and acquire the information they needed to negotiate their world.

Written by ClareSnow

20 November 2007 at 4:11 pm

RAILS 3 seminar

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I presented a paper at RAILS 3: Research Applications in Information and Library Studies held in Perth, Australia, 23 September 2006. I discussed my research methods and some preliminary results of my survey of Australian public libraries.

Abstract

Graphic novels are trade paperback or hardcover books consisting of work in comic-book form. They include book-length stories, collections of stories and works of non-fiction. This does not include collections of comic strips such as Garfield or Peanuts. They are a format and as such include many different genres.

Graphic novels are becoming more prevalent and popular among teenagers and are thus being collected by public and school libraries. There are numerous reasons for the current popularity of graphic novels. Young people today are much more attuned to visual means of communication, as they have grown up with television and computers. Teachers are using graphic novels to develop visual literacy, an important skill for success in today’s visual world. Both librarians and teachers are advocating graphic novels to encourage recreational reading, levels of which decrease as children become teenagers. Graphic novels are increasingly reviewed in library and general review sources, and in some sources are treated as just another aspect of contemporary writing.

The above reasons contributed to my desire to investigate graphic novel collections in public libraries, what teenagers think of graphic novels and whether they read them. In my paper I will discuss the three methods I am using to collect data on public library collections of graphic novels and teenagers’ views on graphic novels.

A postal survey of public libraries in Australia was conducted to determine whether public libraries have graphic novel collections and how these collections are selected, acquired, catalogued, housed and promoted. Focus groups with teenagers will be conducted to uncover what they think of graphic novels and whether they read them. Public librarians who have graphic novel collections in their library will be interviewed to determine their thoughts on their collections and the format in general. I will also discuss the preliminary results from the survey of public libraries.

Written by ClareSnow

26 September 2006 at 10:45 am

After the conference

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My presentation at the ACLAR conference in Melbourne went well.

Papers from the conference are to be published in the peer-reviewed journal Papers: Explorations into Children’s Literature, vol.16, no.2. I’ve decided to submit the written version of my presentation to Synergy, the research journal of the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV). Its readership is more the audience who would be interested in my research.

Written by ClareSnow

18 July 2006 at 2:12 pm

ACLAR conference

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I’ve finished working at the State Library of WA and I’m back to my research full time.

I’m presenting a paper at Children’s Literature at the Edge: new texts, new technologies, new readings, new readers the 7th International Conference of the Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research (ACLAR) to be held in Melbourne, Australia, 13-14 July 2006. This is a conference on children’s literature, so I will talk generally about graphic novels as a format.

Abstract

Graphic novels are trade paperback or hardcover books consisting of work in comic-book form. They include book-length stories, collections of stories and works of non-fiction. This does not include collections of comic strips such as Garfield or Peanuts. They are a format and as such include many different genres.

Graphic novels are becoming more prevalent and popular among children and teenagers. There are numerous reasons for this. Young people today are much more attuned to visual means of communication, as they have grown up with television and computers. Teachers are using graphic novels to develop visual literacy, an important skill for success in today’s visual world. Both librarians and teachers are advocating graphic novels to encourage recreational reading. Last year the wordless graphic novel, The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard by Greg Rogers was short-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia, Book of the Year for younger readers. Publishers and booksellers are finding graphic novels (including manga, which are Japanese comics) increasingly lucrative and thus are promoting them aggressively. Graphic novels are reviewed in library and general review sources, and in some sources are treated as just another aspect of contemporary writing.

In my paper I will discuss the popularity and literary merit of graphic novels and why graphic novels are becoming an important aspect of children’s literature.

Written by ClareSnow

10 July 2006 at 11:39 am

Presentation

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I’ve been working at the State Library of WA for three months and yesterday I gave a presentation about Teenagers in Libraries at the Great Southern Regional Meeting in Albany, WA.

Citation

Snowball, C. (2006) “Enticing teenagers into the library” Paper presented at the Great Southern Regional Meeting, Albany, Western Australia, 30 May 2006.

Written by ClareSnow

31 May 2006 at 6:03 pm

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