By Teachers, For Teachers
More and more schools have had to make the hard decision to either keep or cut out the schools library. The sad thing is, that’s the schools first thing they think of when making budget cuts.
While advances in eReaders and online research capabilities may seem to make libraries obsolete, it is important to recognize the valuable tools to students' learning being lost as libraries disappear.
Why eReaders Aren't Enough
With technology becoming more and more prevalent, libraries are becoming old-fashioned an out-of-date. With the creation of the Nook and eReaders, paper books are becoming old school. With the connotation that paper books are becoming less and less popular, libraries itself are becoming something that can be sacrificed when making school budget cuts.
The sad part of this is, not all students have access to the Internet or technological devices such as the nook or eReader and they rely on having a reliable librarian and a well-stocked library for their research for school projects and assignments. Not everyone has access to the Internet and by schools making this assumption and cutting out the schools resources, it is negatively affecting the underprivileged students.
Losing Librarian's Research Guidance
Libraries that normally have two or three people on staff are now down to just one librarian, which makes finding one-on-one time with the librarian hard to come by. Not only are they letting go to most of the libraries staff, but they are hiring uncertified “librarians” that don’t know how to affectively help students within a library or help them with school work. They are just there to help check out books.
Librarians have always been there to help students and assist them in finding what they need to do there school assignment research. Now since so many students are going home and doing there research online, it is becoming less important for schools to have on staff, well-educated librarians. They now can hire more much cheaper, people who can be trained to check out books. In the past, the school library was the most important part of the school. It was the one-place schools were always upgrading and making better since it was so utilized by the students and teachers.
Why Students Still Need Libraries (Whether They Want Them or Not)
Schools upgraded libraries by adding computers, new software to help find books easier and integrated more and more technology into the library, but students are uninterested. The majority of students own computers at home and don’t feel the need to use the library because of that. Until the libraries becoming entirely technology based, featuring new devices that students don’t own, this generation of students will not be interested in going to libraries.
Valuable research skills, like evaluating resources and using a variety of sources, have been replaced with half-hazard Google searches. This has caused a downhill trend in research quality because students often use any information they find posted on a website for their school projects with little regard for who published it or why that source is credible.
Despite the tremendous amount of information available on the web, it lacks comprehensive, free listings of books, journals and other publications that you'll find at traditional libraries. Until all the books in the world get scanned into computers to be able to be read on devices such as eReaders and Nooks, libraries will still be standing.
Unfortunately, technology is not always as good as the hard copy. Technology can have glitches and mistakenly erase important books, skip pages, Internet connection could be cut off and important information can be lost forever. People can fight the past and old ways as much as they want , but in the end, the most reliable option is keeping libraries open and running and keeping the books on the shelves.
Where do you stand in the school library debate? Share in the comments section!
About the Author: Patricia Hawke is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. For more information please visit Michigan School Ratings and Public School Rankings