Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Boys. Girls. Reading.

Last week, I did some shopping.

See, I got a new job (elementary librarian - yippee!) and in my excitement, I wanted to get some new materials for my students. First I stopped at the American Library Association online store and picked out some posters and some bookmarks (very cute, book-related, super fun).

Then I went to an online poster site to get some more general posters that weren't based on any particular book. I found a couple cute ones - an illustration of a woman on a park bench reading, a photo of an African American girl smiling and reading, a Marvel super heroes poster.

Know what I could NOT find? A poster of a boy or a man reading.

Now, the ALA has a great line of posters of famous people with books they love. My problem, though, is that those are either people my students have likely never heard of (and who therefore won't inspire them to read), people in controversial material (I teach at a Christian school, so the Harry Potter actors - while completely welcome in MY home - are not worth the trouble they would cause), or people the kids don't think are cool any more. What I need are some generic there's-a-kid-like-me-enjoying-a-book kind of posters.

When I run into a problem where I need something I just can't find "out there," I tend to just make it myself.

I like the ALA's READ campaign so much that I bought the software to make my own posters. I have visions of our superintendent with his favorite book (in addition to the Bible) on a poster. Our principal. Our teachers. And maybe some of our own students can earn a spot on a poster.

That will solve my immediate problem of gender-balance in my bulletin board materials. But it doesn't really get at the larger issue. 

Why aren't there posters of guys reading?!

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