A two-year Open University study, commissioned in association with the Carnegie UK Trust has shown the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards shadowing scheme as an excellent way to encourage reading for pleasure in young people and highlights the unique role that librarians play.
The scheme administered by librarians and information professionals, brings thousands of young people in schools, public libraries and other reading environments together to form book groups in which the members read and discuss the shortlisted titles of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, following the same criteria as the award judges.
Over 4,000 groups and 90,000 children participated in the scheme during 2012.
Key benefits of taking part in the shadowing scheme
- Increased pleasure and enjoyment in reading.
- An enhanced desire to read.
- Wider reading repertoires and an introduction to new genres and authors.
- Engagement in high quality texts and other resources (such as videos on the shadowing website).
- Increased confidence in voicing views about texts.
- Potential for learning through dialogue.
- Improved discussion and debate skills.
- Skills of interpretation and analysis.
- A wider cultural and historical awareness.
- Working with a wider than usual range of young people in school (e.g. in mixed-age/ -ability groups).
- A commitment to and interest in writing reviews, the quality of which is likely to be influenced by the shadowing scheme.
- The development of a strong reading community and positive reader-to-reader relationships between group members and between young people and adults.
School librarian and Vice-Chair of CILIP Barbara Band said of the report: “It is fantastic to read such a ringing endorsement of the role that school librarians play as Shadowing Scheme group leaders. Shadowing inspires children to read and get excited about outstanding books, developing the literacy skills that will underpin their lives and help them to reach their potential. It is fundamental that the government supports schools to invest in their libraries and librarians, and activities such as book groups, so vital in the creation of generations of literate and enthusiastic readers.”