Let’s celebrate school libraries this October! Do you have a fond memory of your school library or librarian? I sure do! I remember the tiny room that was our school library and the sweet lady who served as our librarian. From researching U.S. presidents to experiencing a solar eclipse (circa 1994?), to finding my latest read, school library visits were something to look forward to each week.
School libraries and librarians are essential to the well-being of our students. The convenience of having a library accessible at school can’t be denied. The relationship students can develop with a school librarian is of great importance and can help kids feel safe and supported in their reading. Using tools like Beanstack can help students, teachers, and librarians motivate students to read by choice and build a school's culture of reading.
School libraries also offer ways for teachers (and librarians!) to teach research skills. Many school libraries offer computers to complete this task online, as well as the more traditional resource books and an abundance of nonfiction. Twenty-first century research skills need to be taught explicitly to avoid plagiarism and unreliable sources. School librarians are an essential bridge between information and our own ideas.
Even when controlled for poverty, students’ reading test scores increased with the presence of a school librarian. You can find that information here, along with more data supporting the positive relationship between school libraries and students. From collaboration with teachers to the wealth of knowledge school librarians have, these statistics just prove the case for school libraries.
Most of all, school libraries are fun! School librarians model the pure enjoyment of reading and that paves the way for the next generation of readers. Students can learn about the world through diverse authors and illustrators, and experience history through the pages of a book. They connect us to our past and help us visualize the future through stories. My six-year-old’s favorite part of visiting the school library is choosing any book she wants and having time to read it. It really is the simple things, isn’t it?
Thank you school librarians for all you do and happy International School Library Month!