Building A School Reading Culture – Part 5 Measuring Reading Culture
Welcome back to my building a reading culture series. If you’ve missed parts 1-4, I explore the start of this journey, organisational culture research, culture change research and what a reading culture is.
In my last post, I discussed what a reading culture is and some of the key elements. I also made the discovery that this needs to be driven from outside the library. To be truly effective, I need everyone in the school on board. Before I explore that further, I need to first look at how to measure and assess the current reading culture. Does it need to change? What are the areas of weakness? Where are we falling short and where are we strong and can build upon a good foundation?
Building A School Reading Culture – Part 4 What Is A Reading Culture?
In this series, which I started last year, I have been exploring building a strong reading culture in my school. It was something we had identified as a library team as a goal to work towards. You can read part one here. I then started to investigate organisational culture research and culture change research and methods. These have all given me some excellent information and starting points. It has also guided my practice for the last six months as I stepped into acting head of library and into a position to drive change.
Now it’s time to look a little more closely at reading cultures, what exactly a reading culture is and why is it something to strive towards.
Building A School Reading Culture – Part 3 Culture Change Research
In my last post on Building A Reading Culture, I shared my dive into the research around organisational culture. You can read my journey into building a reading culture from the start, in this first post Building A School Reading Culture Part 1 Getting Started.
When I decided to investigate the reading culture at our school, I wanted to do it properly and I was inspired to look beyond the school library context by my mentor, Dr Kay Oddone and her fantastic post on her website LinkingLearning. So, I began my journey within the business and organisation context. Looking at the research around organisational culture helped me to understand that culture is not only the “way things are done around here” but also the underpinning beliefs, values, assumptions and thoughts around the future of the organisation.
However, this is just a starting point. The true power rests in being able to change the culture we have.
Building A School Reading Culture – Part 2 Organisational Culture Research
Building a positive reading culture might seem like a pretty obvious goal for a school librarian. It makes sense, right? It’s an admirable goal and the importance of such can be supported with evidence around the benefits of reading across academic, social, and emotional domains. But when I set myself a goal of building a positive reading culture at my school, I was challenged to think more deeply about the process. What exactly is a positive reading culture? What does that look like and how can I measure that? You can read about the start of this journey in my post Building A School Reading Culture Part 1 Getting Started.
In this second part in my journey, I’ve been investigating organisational culture, outside of just the school library realm. This then led me to investigating organisation climate. Before I could unpack what a reading culture is and how to measure and improve it, I first needed to understand what culture is at an organisational level. I started by diving into the literature around organisational culture.
Building A School Reading Culture – Part 1 Getting Started
When I first started at my new school and new school library this year, something that the library team shared with me quite a few times was their disappointment with the culture towards reading at the school. They felt that the school had a poor reading culture. They couldn’t quite determine why or what was the cause. Leadership was generally supportive, the school library well staffed but with reduced funding compared to previous years. So why did it seem like the students didn’t enjoy reading? Continue reading