Engaging Boys of Color at the Library

Proven Strategies for Reading Achievement

by Nichole Shabazz


Learn how to promote literacy and inspire a love of reading in male youth of color at your library.

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January 2021

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 135
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Children's and Young Adult Services/Multicultural Populations
  Librarian's Instructional Role/Teaching Resources, K-12
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Literacy during childhood and adolescence is a determiner of success later in life. African American and Latino youth often do not have adequate support when it comes to reading; this book shows how librarians can play a vital role in providing that support.

Literacy rates among African American and Latino boys are not where they should be, and many are reluctant to read at all. The consequences are far-reaching: reading avoidance and illiteracy destine these youth to struggle throughout their years spent in school and even as adults. The current crisis in reading underachievement requires youth librarians to see themselves as educators and to understand the important role that reading instruction plays in reading achievement.

In this call to action, Nichole Shabazz, an urban K-12 school librarian who works with youth in a large, urban public library, shows school and public librarians as well as LIS students how to ensure positive life outcomes for these young men. Shabazz offers eight strategies both to make youth excited about reading and to improve their literacy. From "partner up" to "start small," these field-tested strategies will help school and public librarians to achieve measurable reading outcomes for African American and Latino male youth from pre-K through high school.


  • Illustrates effective, evidence-based strategies that can be used to improve librarians' professional practice
  • Includes informative, up-to-date, culturally relevant reading resource lists
  • Offers insight relating to the historical context and present condition of low literacy levels and reading reluctance among African American and Latino male youth
Author Info

Nichole Shabazz, EdS, is a licensed urban K-12 school librarian experienced in the teaching of reading and teacher leadership. She is the youth outreach and programming coordinator at Cleveland Public Library, a large, urban public library. Her professional career has included inspiring, educating, and engaging countless boys of color of all ages, reading abilities, and aspirations. Her work in school and public libraries has also allowed her to serve as a resource for other educators as well as parents looking to help their children to become more engaged readers.

Other Titles of Interest

Libraries, Literacy, and African American Youth cover imageGuided by Meaning in Primary Literacy cover imageMaker Literacy cover image
Six Skills by Age Six cover image

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