The Importance of a School Library
In elementary school, I was forced to go into my school library because it was required by the state curriculum. My teacher would tell the students in my class to just pick out a book, sit down, and quietly read. It was never a place we went of our own accord. I think it’s safe to say that the school library was of no personal significance to us. However, as I grew older, I came to fall in love with the library. It was there that I could immerse myself in another world without having anyone tell me to “put that book away, Shrima, we’re learning math” (FYI: I hate math). The beauty of the library was that I could not only read, but take things to read with me! Although the library became my haven, I was able to bring a piece of it with me back home.
Aside from being a place of comfort, school libraries help students achieve academic success as well as boost their drive to learn. Here is a really cool study conducted on the correlation between school libraries and student achievement. This is Chapter One and it gives you a general outline of the study.
Here is another study done specifically in New York. This one is wonderful because it shows the impact that school librarians, library programs, and technology effect the students. Here is one teacher’s response that the researchers included:
“The School Librarian has been wonderful in encouraging my reluctant readers to engage in books. She finds books that are of interest to these students and focuses in on students’ particular interests and pairs them with books that would be of interest. She has made the library a student-centered location in our school and a place the students want to go.”
School libraries are often over-looked, yet have a greater influence on the life of a student (particularly younger ones) than most people believe. We have a fantastic opportunity here to really change the lives of a group of students.