Closing School Libraries

It's all part of a whole. Cut libraries and librarians at schools, and children will be less comfortable utilizing their local public libraries. Cut libraries and librarians in the public library system, and children and parents will be less likely to use and support their school and community libraries. And so on and so on....

Here's a letter to the editor from a public librarian in Ontario, Canada that sums up the issues:

Closing a school library is not just an issue for schools. Library programs at schools foster a love of reading, and develop information, research literacy and critical thinking skills. They allow kids to learn about their world, and to explore and develop their own interests. The lack of these skills among students will have a big impact on both the public and academic library, as well as on society.

A major Canadian study from People for Education and Queen’s University has found that having a school library improves test scores, and schools with teacher librarians have more positive attitudes toward reading; while schools with no professional librarian have lower reading scores. As school libraries and librarians become fewer, the impact on public libraries and society as a whole will grow.

We will be raising a generation of children who don’t read, leading to a generation of adults who won’t read, and who won’t know how to find information or critically evaluate the information that they do find.

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crippling teachers and students

Closing a school library and expecting the students and teachers to perform as usual is like trying to teach someone to play tennis but without using a ball or a net.

Find and evaluate

I have to disagree with the last quoted sentence, "...who won’t know how to find information or critically evaluate the information that they do find." It's not that they won't know how, even though they won't, it's that they won't even know there is more than what's delivered to them.

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