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07 Dec 2020

The Importance of Instilling Reading Fondness Culture at Early Age

Medan Merdeka Selatan, Jakarta - National Library once again held a Fostering Reading Fondness Webinar, with the theme Knowing Students’ Characters to Build Reading Fondness Culture, which was conducted online, Monday (7/12).

Director of National Library Muhammad Syarif Bando said, in knowing students’ characters, we often apply strict rules, especially for students in the elementary school category. Often, we forget that they are free people who should be treated in accordance with their nature.

"Not everyone understands how to make children like reading, how they have the ability to recognise letters, words, and can convey opinions. This requires time and sacrifice for a mother and family," he said.

Given, he continued, students' time at school is not more than 30 percent, while they have more time at home. For this reason, it is important to understand not to put down the expectation that the abilities which children get are only from school, but at home they have a lot of available time.

"How the curiosity space of a child makes someone around him should have creativity, how a mother has an idea to write on sheets and then the child likes it," he continued.

Based on the test results of Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) as released by UNESCO, that the research results on Indonesia, especially students, only 47.4 percent of which can access textbooks. It is certain that the PISA score in 2020 will drop by 20 points. This is the challenge when study from home policy and digital library-based library management can reach students at home.

"It is an important lesson for all of us, parents have an important role in instilling fondness for reading in children by understanding children's character," he explained.

Chairman of Forum for Lecturers, Teachers, and Society (Fordorum), Sri Watini said, children are the foundation of the future of nation's generation, a period of observation that does not stop learning. In her opinion, current literacy is not just reading writing, characters, system, and culture.

"Literacy is more than just reading and writing skills. But more than that, literacy is an individual's ability to use all his potential and skills in his life. With the understanding that literacy includes the ability to read words and read the world,” she said.

Sri Watini said, each child has a different way of applying literacy, their current existence when they are unable to convey both in writing and verbally. Literacy activities are an obligation for all teachers and subject areas.

It is necessary to understand that impacts of industrial revolution 4.0, society 5.0, Covid-19, one of which is the use of sophisticated technology system to replace the role of human. "By using sophisticated technology aspect, we must master literacy. For example, the education system whose curriculum is not appropriate must change,” she continued.

According to Children's Information Literacy Expert, Lucya Dhamayanti, information literacy is a set of abilities that require people to have the ability to find, evaluate, and effectively use the information needed. Information literacy should be introduced to children from an early age, even since the child is in the womb.

We must understand the stages of growth and development of children. Babies who are more likely to respond to people who are 'listened to' during development in the womb, as toddlers begin to develop the nervous system, this is when books can be introduced through the five senses, i. e. sense of touch and sight.

"Conveying understanding if books are not threat but entertainment, even though there are modern gadgets as pleasure tools, reading needs to be a priority. With books children have a physical experience of books. We have to adapt the reading books to child's developmental age, which is adapted to everyday life," she said.

Meanwhile, Senior Librarian of National Library, Adriati Zen, said that in order to improve reading interest in the school environment, a librarian at school library must understand the needs of readers, both teachers and students, so that it is in line with what is in learning at school. In addition, the availability of adequate reading books, both the number and variety of books that are favoured, as well as the availability of a good library.

"Librarians also have a role to instill confidence and commitment to students that through reading they will get many benefits, such as they can travel the world just by reading," she explained.

Furthermore, Adriati said, a librarian must have high creativity in providing services for library users. They think how to make children want to use the collections at library. If they are bored, it is librarians that deliver books to each classroom or provide a gazebo equipped with reading material.

In her opinion, it is better if book collection is not on shelf because it is borrowed by students than if book is filling the shelf without being read by library users. "Be angels for library users, even though sick, show cheerful expression towards the children, so that they will enjoy and make good use of our collection," she concluded.




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