I avoid conflict like the plague, but when it comes to school libraries, I feel a little like a bull dog. I always feel that I must do the best that I can to advocate for school libraries and show their importance to literacy, to students and to school life. Sadly, this is not apparent to all. Check out the film created by Indigo booksho that gives shocking statistics on how school library collections and programs across North America are dying and how this is failing our kids:
The Writing on The Wall
School libraries are more than books, desks and shelves. Frequent trips to the library makes reading more attractive if the library has new books that have been selected to be interesting and informative to children. It’s really sad to walk into a lovely space and find mostly 20 year old books. Moreover, any school library that is missing joke books and this year’s Guinness Book of World records is missing the kind of material that kids want to read as much as the most recent Rick Riordan novel!
School libraries can help elementary school students make the transition to high school more easily. They are also safe havens for kids, especially if there is an adult who is welcoming, knows the students‘ names, and cares more about whether a child is reading than whether or not his or her book is late, as so many volunteers show a deep concern that kids enjoy the books that they are reading.
Whimsical displays like this one at Massey-Vanier make the library a welcoming space. If governments really want to raise reading scores in our schools, they should take all the studies that show the correlation between strong school library programs and reading scores seriously. Schools that don’t have libraries need them and those that do have a library should make it a place where students fall in love with reading.