Programming and reading promotion for boys is not necessarily the easiest task which any library can accomplish. It is conceivable that the largest hurdle that libraries must overcome can occur before a child is even born: do the parents themselves read? Any library that wishes to tackle the issue of promoting reading with children must also tackle the issue of promoting reading with the parents. The parents who see the value of reading will be the ones who bring their children to infant, toddler, and early childhood programs at their local library; and these same parents will most likely continue to bring their children to that same library to obtain books as the children grow older.


What happens when boys grow older? The National Center for Educational Statistics consistently confirms in its annual National Report Card that American fourth grade students tend to read quite well compared to their peers in other countries, but this same fact does not hold true in eighth grade or twelfth grade. Any casual observer will note that the time demands placed on students from fifth grade on are going to cut into students' time for recreational reading. Competitive sports often begin in fifth or sixth grade, and the demands for practice can be quite grueling--often tending toward an hour and a half or two hours per day. Sports competitions--track meets, softball and baseball games, and basketball tournaments--can often run for hours. Library programming often does not stand a chance of competing with the other leisure-time pursuits afforded to boys after school.