Sharjah: School librarians were briefed on how to use fun activities to capture students’ attention and inspire a love of reading, during a UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) workshop held recently.
Assisted by Julie Hamilton, school librarian at the Australian International School in Sharjah, and supported by the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, the UAEBBY’s two-day workshop, held at the Aryana Hotel in Sharjah, targeted 15 librarians from private schools across Sharjah, Dubai, and Ras Al Khaimah.
The librarians were trained on how to implement fun and creative activities around books. Activities focused on encouraging primary school students to understand the different parts of books; to critically analyse the stories they read; and to become acquainted with the Dewey Decimal system used by libraries to classify books.
Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, UAEBBY president, said it was vital that librarians develop a better understanding of their work to enable them to shoulder the important responsibility of inspiring a love of reading and learning amongst children.
“Once the seed is planted, the habit of reading and learning will stay with children for the rest of their lives,” Sheikha Bodour noted, adding “When students associate reading and learning with enjoyment, they learn faster and sustain an interest in reading.” The librarians were shown ways to encourage students to think critically, express themselves, and be creative through activities such as a ‘book court’, treasure hunts, creating a newspaper front page, dramatic reading, and writing a letter to a reader 100 years in the future.
The programme looked at the importance of group work and cooperative learning in classrooms while providing an opportunity for participating librarians to share their experiences.
Maytha Al Habsi, the Emirates Foundation’s Chief Programme Officer, said the workshop met the Foundation’s mandate to deliver a positive and permanent impact on the lives of young people.