Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Teenagers--Books and reading; School libraries--Activity programs;


Numerous studies have been conducted in the past on the decline in amount of time students spend reading for leisure as they age. However, few studies have explored the specific factors that influence how middle school students select leisure reading materials. The purpose of this combined, qualitative and quantitative study is to explore the leisure reading habits of grade 8 students in order to explore the specific factors that influence middle schools students when they select leisure reading materials. Additionally, the study aims to determine if there are significant differences in how male and female students select their reading materials. Findings will then be used to determine ways in which to create a library program and environment that caters to the unique needs of the patrons it serves. A sample population of 25 students, 11 of whom were male and 14 of whom were female, participated in the study. Mixed-gender focus groups were created, each consisting of five students, who were posed with a scenario related to their book selection process. Following discussion of the scenario, participants completed a five question survey asking them about factors that influence their selection of leisure reading materials. Upon completion of the study, the researcher found that students’ selection of leisure reading materials is influenced largely by social and visual factors. Only minor differences were noted between the selection practices of male and female participants.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of School Library Studies

First Advisor

Joan Bessman Taylor

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (i, 35 pages)



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