|Inmates' use of Leisure Reading Materials (comics) in a State Correctional Institution Library - Part III|
|By Philip Ephraim, PhD, Corrections Librarian at State Correctional Institution, Graterford, PA|
In conversation with many readers of comics, they mentioned the following benefits of comics reading.
In this study, we analyzed the loans records to see those who borrow comics to read in their cells that rather than those who read them in the library. The total volume of use could have been greater than reported if in-library use was taken into account. So the question is: Is leisure library service in jails worth the trouble? Is providing comic relief that calm the nerves of prison inmates through comics worth the trouble? In everyway!
What this study did not do was:
We did not attempt to determine whether comic book readers are better readers, but there is a reason to expect that they are, given the consistent relationship found in the professional literature between frequency of reading and reading ability (Krashen, 1993) and given the finding that comic book readers like reading and read more. Finally, we did not attempt to determine the reader’s age, length of incarceration or what reading levels (fifth, sixth grade level, etc) the comic books read were written at.
Recommendations for further studies.
Click Here for Part I
Click Here for Part II
Editor's note: Corrections.com author, Philip Ephraim, is a Corrections Librarian, at the State Correctional Institution, in Graterford, PA. He has served on numerous library committees.
Other articles by Ephraim
Baily, L. (1959 )Mass media and children: a study of exposure habits and cognitive effects. Psychological Monographs, 73, 201-216.
Hayes, D. and Ahrens, M. (1988). Vocabulary simplification for children: a special case of “motherese”? Journal of Child Language,15, 395-416.
Heisler, F. (1947). A comparison of comic book and non-comic book readers of the elementary school. Journal of Educational Research, 40. 458-464.
Krashen, S. The decline of reading in America, poverty and access to books and the use of comics in encouraging reading. Teachers College Record. February, 2005.
Krashen, S.(1993). The power of reading. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited.
Mathabane, M. (1986). Kaffir Boy. New York, Plume.
Swain, F. (1948). Using comic books to teach reading and language arts. Journal of Reading, 22, 253-258.
Witty, P. (1941) Reading the comics: comparative study. Journal of Experimental Education, 10, 105-106.
Tutu, D. (2004, June 12). Interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Academy of Achievement. Available at http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/tut0int-1
LaBrant, L. (1958). An evaluation of free reading. In, C. Hunnicutt and W. Iverson (Eds), Research in the three R’s (pp154-161), New York, Harper.
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