It is always a pleasure to share reading research (plans and findings and sometimes failures) with members of the Ontario Library Association at the Readers' Advisory in a Day symposium. Always assured of a smart and engaged audience, and I come away having learned a lot about how to work with readers in public libraries. This year, I was hoping to share findings of a pilot study that I'm presently working on that explores the reading practices of small group of older people (70+ years, at least 5 years past retirement, and still living at home with no or low-level needs for health and social services). I'm not at a point where I can share findings from that project yet, so I took a page out of our Reading Matters book to share some of "what the research says" about older people and reading.
The slides I used for the presentation are available here: Download RAinaDay2014. I didn't have time to talk about the final two slides in the deck -- on reading as place-making. These slides represent a kind of working model for me relying on what David Seamon has called a "place-ballet" with an overlay of reading, libraries and books. I've explored this idea of the place-ballet in previous reading research (here and here) with rural young adults but am exploring ways to elaborate on the model in this next project. I like the concept of the place-ballet for how it helps me to think about massively pervasive, everyday reading practices that might otherwise easily be written off as trivial.
Some of the studies featured in the talk:
PEW, Library Services in the Digital Age, 2013
Anabel Quan-Haase, Kim Martin, Kathleen Schreurs, 2014. Interviews with Lifelong Readers: Preliminary Findings from the EDITS (Effects of Digital Information Technology on Seniors) Project
Mary Cavanagh and Wendy Robbins, 2012. Baby boomers, their elders and the public library.
Consumption of Culture by Older Canadians on the Internet:
Allen, Mary. 2013. “Consumption of culture by older Canadians on the Internet.” Insights on Canadian Society. January. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 75-006-X.
Su-Yen Chen and Yang-Chih Fu, 2008. "Leisure Participation and Enjoyment: Individual Characteristics and Sociability."
(with more to come...)