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Multi-Modal Stories: LIS Students Explore Reading, Literacy, and Library Service Through the Lens of ‘The 39 Clues”

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  • Education


The article presents a conceptual framework for exploring multi-modal stories for children using the children’s adventure series, The 39 Clues. The framework is accompanied by concrete examples of student learning experiences, in the form of student reflections on issues related to the convergence of media and the nature of reading and children’s library service in the 21st century. The article begins with a look at the series, The 39 Clues, describing its history and its format. It then provides a framework for exploring some of the issues related to reading The 39 Clues, first, by introducing some concepts from the literature associated with reading in the digital world and then, outlining some of the practical concerns that librarians might have in relation to The 39 Clues. The article then presents the reflections of five students – one MLIS student and four PhD students – who considered multi-modal stories in light of their future practice, research, and teaching in LIS. The article concludes by summarizing five over-arching themes that emerged from the students’ explorations - reading as a two-track experience, questions about authorship, evaluation skills needed to review multimodal stories, opportunities for information literacy instruction, and access and equity issues.

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