Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Masculinity, reading and the school library : smoothing the abrasive rub

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posted on 2021-11-13, 11:42 authored by McLean, Anne Virginia

During the 1990s, governments and the education profession noticed that boys were lagging behind girls academically. Reading, or the lack or it was pinpointed as a major cause and it was observed in an Auckland high school library that significantly more books were issued to girls than boys over a six month period in 2004. The purpose of this study was to achieve a deeper understanding of how a purposefully selected sample of school librarians has successfully encouraged boys to read. A qualitative approach was employed using two methods of data collection: a questionnaire to gather largely statistical data and in-depth interviews to gather data about participants' experiences, knowledge and opinions. The study found that school librarians use a variety of strategies to promote reading to boys. A school library needs to be well stocked with a wide range of current, appealing, reading materials as boys are discerning, hybrid readers. Knowing the students and the library collection was central to matching boys with books and the library needs to be more than a book repository. It is concluded that Ranganathan's 'Five laws of library science' are still applicable today in the school library and school librarians need to be a professional, visible and approachable presence in the school.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Library and Information Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Library and Information Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Information Management


Liew, Chern Li