School Libraries Are Necessary

 

Thanks to Erin Anderson for the picture

During my high school years, the first floor sanctuary was the chapel and the fourth floor sanctuary was the library, which held a grand array of books available for both research and pleasure. The great joy for us all was that the library remained open after classes ended for the day. We knew we could hang out on street corners, roam around Woolworths or opt for malteds at The Hamburger Express. But quite often, the school library beat out those ultra attractive options. And, just as is true for the New York Public Library Fordham Branch, the school library kept us off the streets and out of trouble.

So I was pained to read this article that points out how many school systems are cutting back library hours and in some cases eliminating library services from SOME schools in the district, while leaving service intact in others. Who is making those decisions? Don’t all the children in a school district deserve at least some access to a school library?

 If this is happening in your local school district, please make the phone call or write the letter reminding the school district powers-that-be that libraries grow readers, and readers become leaders.

 Terrie

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About Terrie Farley Moran

Twice short-listed for Best American Mystery Stories, Terrie Farley Moran’s cozy mystery novel, Well Read, Then Dead is the first book in the Read ’Em and Eat Café and Bookstore series. Terrie tells anyone willing to listen that hanging out with any or all of her seven grandchildren provides life’s grand and joyful moments.

8 thoughts on “School Libraries Are Necessary

  1. The school library was especially important to me in elementary school (how else would I have been introduced to The Wind in the Willows, The Secret Garden, have access to Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Charlotte’s Web). In grades 7-12 not so much, with the exception of reference books, which are now online. It is shameful if, indeed, school libraries are denied those kids without online access and no access to reference books. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  2. Terrie, thanks for the posting. Learning that school librarians were being fired saddened me. In this area, school libraries are not open after school, but Stamford’s public library is accepted as the “heart” of our community. A special group of citizens contribute to keep its doors open for long hours despite municipal budget cuts. Each day at 11am a crowd of people are waiting to get in and over a million visits each year is a matter of record. Since our school libraries close with the school day, kids wind up here. The third floor is nothing but computers and they are always busy. I can’t imagine what it would be like to fire our librarians and close it down. Let’s put it this way, it’s never going to happen.

  3. Lois, it weems we all have fond memories of school libraries.

    Dorothy, it seems that the residents of Stamford have invested a lot of themselves and their mony in supporting the library as a community center. That is joyful news.

  4. It’s disturbing to think of schools without libraries, but there’s another issue here that needs to be addressed. I’m referring to the injustice that’s being perpetrated when a school system “has to” cut services, and then allows parents in wealthier neighborhoods to raise funds to pay for those services for their kids. Public education means equal services and equal opportunities for all kids. The same kind of thing is going on in NYC schools, with PTAs in wealthy neighborhoods collecting thousands of dollars a year from parents and using that money to pay for extra services for their kids. How about partnering each “have” school with a “have-not” school and splitting those funds equally? Not an original idea–I heard someone voice it on public radio–but one I support.

  5. I hate to hear about school libraries going away. Our school library wasn’t great, but I grew up in NYC where the public library system is amazing–such is not the case in a lot of places. I wonder whether some of those schools where they don’t think they can keep their libraries open later could find it in their budget to do an after school bus program where kids went to a public library branch. *sigh*

  6. Terrie, I wish I had an answer. My fantasy is that one PTA with access to resources will take it upon themselves to partner with a school that needs the support. No legislation, no arm-twisting, just doing the right thing. What a lesson that would be for the kids.

  7. Laura, I have to agree about the NYPL and give it mega-credit for keeping me out of trouble as a kid.

    Anita, that is a fantasy worth having.

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