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New Reading Tools Available on GRRL Library Catalog

St. Cloud, MN, October 2011:  Great River Regional Library (GRRL) has added a new feature to its catalog of materials making it easier for readers, parents and teachers to find suitable books for individuals at various reading levels.

The catalog (at http://pac.griver.org) now displays Lexile® audience and item measures, Accelerated Reader®  item reading levels and interest levels, and Scholastic Reading Counts!® item reading levels and interest levels for a wide range of titles. 

Each of these tools helps a reader to know if the book is a suitable choice. Readers can search by level from the catalog’s “Search by Number” drop down menus or link to other books at the same level as a reader favorite. These enhancements have been added in response to frequent requests from students, parents and teachers for reading level guidance.
The Reading Tools:

A Lexile measure indicates an individual's reading ability or the difficulty of a text. A student gets his or her Lexile reader measure from a reading test or program. A book gets a Lexile text measure when it is analyzed by an automated system. Some of GRRL’s board books measure as low as 10 on the scale. “Hatchet,” Gary Paulsen’s award-winning book for teens scores 1020, and “Robert’s Rules of Order” scores 1500.

Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computerized progress-monitoring tool used by many schools to provide feedback on students’ comprehension of books they have read. AR uses a scale to show the difficulty of a text. For example, a level of 4.5 means the text could likely be read by a student whose reading skills are at the level of a typical fourth grader during the fifth month of school. AR Interest Levels are helpful when trying to find a book that matches both somebody’s interest level and reading ability: for example, finding a book to interest a ninth-grader whose reading ability is at the sixth grade. “Hatchet” has a AR level of 5:7 and an AR interest level of Middle Grades 4-8.

Scholastic Reading Counts! (RC) is a reading program for Grades K–12 available in many schools which combines reading practice and software-based reading assessment.  “Hatchet” has an RC level of 6.3 and an RC interest level of 6-8.

The library does not have tools for measurement of reading skills and interest levels and does not measure skills and interest levels. The reading level information is added to basic catalog entries by a commercial vendor. New items must first be scored by Lexile, AR and RC before the entries can be modified. The information is not available for all items, including some most recently purchased by the library.

Great River Regional Library (GRRL) provides library services at 32 public libraries in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties. It provides Central Minnesota residents with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, programming and information services.

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