Reading Connects: The Interrelationships between School Libraries, ICT, Multimodality and their Impacts on Reading Motivation and the Multiliteracy Development

By Patrick Lo and Ricky Tsang.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

According to Stephen Krashen (1993), “When children read for pleasure, when they get “hooked on books”, they acquire involuntarily and without conscious effort, nearly all of the so-called “language skills” people are concerned about: They will become adequate readers, acquire a large vocabulary, develop the ability to understand and use complex grammatical constructions, develop a good writing style, and become good (but not necessarily perfect) spellers. Although free/voluntary reading alone will not ensure attainment of the highest levels of literacy, it will at least ensure an acceptable level. Without it, I suspect that children simply do not have a chance.”
Literacy has been a necessary prerequisite for functioning in society. People have read in order to fulfill occupational, community, and social needs. Some people also have read simply for pleasure of doing so. It has been determined that motivation significantly influences learning. Studies suggest that recreational or voluntary reading habits should be acquired fairly early in an individual’s school life, probably in elementary school, given that numerous studies have shown a decline in time spent on reading that begins in middle school. Owing to this reason, educators, researchers, parents, as well as society have become increasingly interested in the role of reading engagement or reading motivation that actually plays in the growth of children’s academic achievements, as well as their overall literacy developments. It is because children’s literacy development determines children’s future success in reading and writing, and researchers and teachers have explored the problem from various aspects, such as teaching methods, classroom environments, family involvement, and community and societal environment, etc. Different results have been found, and suggestions given in order to help develop children’s literacy in and out of school. However, given the vast amount of research conducted on reading, it seems that little attention has been given to investigate children’s actual reading motivation. A majority of research in reading focused on examining the cognitive aspects of reading instead. In addition, there is a common concern among reading educators that there is no agreement upon methods for language arts (reading, writing, and oral communication) instruction today. Although research has been conducted and concepts applied to teaching practices, there is no conclusive evidence that one method, such as basals, or whole langue, is the best.
The purpose of this study is to present a review of selected literature that are devoted to discussing issues concerning elementary school students’ reading practices and motivation in the age of digital communication, as well as examining the interrelationships between school libraries, ICT, multimodality and their impacts on reading motivation and the overall multi-literacy development amongst elementary-school students.
This paper also includes case studies of two elementary international schools in Hong Kong, which share their experiences in the implementation of a series of reading incentive programmes at their school libraries via a newly acquired online audio-book resource (Naxos Spoken Word Library).

Keywords: Children’s Reading Practices, Reading Motivation, School Libraries, ICT, Multimodality, Multi-Literacy

International Journal of the Book, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.17-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 965.109KB).

Dr. Patrick Lo

Post-Graduate Student (EdD), University of Bristol (UK), Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

Mr. Lo is currently a candidate of Doctor of Education (EdD), at Bristol University (UK). He has a Master of Arts in Design Management (MA) from Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2004), a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from McGill University (Canada; 1994), and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Mount Allison University, (Canada; 1992). Mr. Lo also took part in a one-year academic exchange programme at Tuebingen University (Germany) from 1990-91. Mr. Lo is efficient in: Cantonese Chinese, Mandarin Chinese (Putunghua), English and German. 1996-2007, Mr. Lo was serving as Cataloguing Librarian at Lingnan University Library (Hong Kong). 2003-06, Mr. Lo was also serving as the Coordinator of the Library as Cultural Centre activities at Lingnan University Library. Mr. Lo’s professional affiliations include the following: (1) 1999-2006 - Secretary of JULAC-HKCAN (Hong Kong Chinese Name Authority) Workgroup. (2) 2003-2006 - Representative of Lingnan University Library (Hong Kong) for the Hong Kong JULAC-BSC (Bibliographic Services Committee). (3) 2004 - present - Member of CALIS (China Academic Library and Information System) Unicat Expert Group. Mr. Lo has presented close to 40 research papers and project reports focusing on humanities, education, and library science at different local and international workgroup meetings, seminars, conferences, including: Mainland China, Hong Kong, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Japan, United States, Korea, and Sweden; including presenting at: (1) The Library of Congress (U.S.), (2) Austrian National Library (Vienna), (3) University of Vienna, (4) National Library of France (Paris), (5) National Institute of Informatics (Japan), etc. Mr. Lo’s recent professional activity includes presenting “Using Outsource Data of Digital Resources in Creating Our Own Bibliographic Records: Lingnan University Library’s Experience in Converting Naxos Music Library and Spoken Word Library Online Titles to MARC Records” at the 72nd IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) Conference in Seoul, Korea, in August 2006: Mr. Lo’s research interests include: latest developments of Metadata, Chinese authority works, and cataloguing among Chinese libraries in Asia and North America; exploring potentials for resources sharing among Chinese libraries in Asia; future development and enhancement of bibliographic records; users’ interaction with the online catalogue; Western classical music, especially Italian operas, vocal music of German Post-Romantic period, Lieder (German art songs), etc. Award(s): Most Active Presenter Award of HKIUG (Hong Kong Innovative Users Group) Annual Meeting in December 2006. Recent Activity: serving as Reporter of Recent Serials Publications in China of Fontes Artis Musicae Journal.

Ricky Tsang

Projects Officer, Naxos Digital Services, Ltd., Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Ricky Tsang is serving as the Projects Officer of Naxos Digital Services, Ltd., Hong Kong (SAR), China. He graduated with double B.A. in English and Music from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2004 and 2006 respectively. Before studying the voice with Ms. Chan Siu Kwan at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, he was under the tutelage of Ms. Rosaline Pi at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Junior Music Programme with scholarships. Mr. Tsang also participated actively in choral music, having joined the choruses of the Opera Society of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Arts Festival and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. In 2005, he became the winner of the Miss Barbara Fei Vocal Scholarship (Open) in the 57th Hong Kong Schools Music Festival. In 2006 he was awarded the LTCL diploma in Vocal Recital by Trinity College London. Ricky Tsang also served as a freelance reviewer for Hi Fi Review (a Hong Kong music magazine). His research interests include: music cataloging, preservation of antique sheet music, database implementation and interface user-centered design of online music resources, usage and applications of online music resources for general education, early 20th-century Italian opera composers, Western choral and bel canto vocal pedagogies, and the developments of Western Christian music in Hong Kong. Ricky Tsang’s latest publications include: A Butterfly with Clipped Wings: an Analytical Study of the Fantasy and Reality behind the Italian Opera Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini: Available at: The “Most German of All German Operas”: An Analysis of Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger and Its Influence on Hitler’s Nazi Ideology: Reading Connects: the Interrelationships between School Libraries, ICT, Multimodality and Their Impacts on Reading Motivation and the Multiliteracy Development:


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