“Without libraries, what have we? We have no past and no future.” - Ray Bradbury
As books and information become increasingly accessible in digital forms, are school libraries in danger of becoming irrelevant? How do school libraries play a part in the overall learning in a school community?
What is better than a well stocked library for encouraging the joy of reading? I always tell students that the most important thing they can learn in the library is how to find books that they love. In fact, the PISA 2009 Results: Learning to Learn show that there is a strong connection between reading for pleasure and academic results. The library gives students the opportunity to explore many different types of authors and genres and to follow their own interests.
Space for Collaboration
Today’s libraries are no longer hushed rooms where students are expected to work independently. The space is lively, adaptable and comfortable. Students can meet to work on projects or study together for the next big test in a welcoming space.
Creating School Culture and Community
The school library is a place where things happen. It is a place to hold events, have meetings and listen to speakers. It is open to students, teachers and parents throughout the school day. It is also a social hub for many students, a place to hang out during breaks or after school. In this way, the library is central to everyday life and important for creating a sense of community in the school.
Student Directed Learning
The library is still a central place to find information whether it be through books or digital sources. Library staff can help guide students to find information, but the learning that happens in the library is driven by students. These are invaluable skills that can be transferred later on to university or the workforce.
Through forward thinking and continued development, the school library will remain an important part of the learning experience at TIS.