Wednesday, April 24, 2002
With the dismissal of librarians from our schools, we tell our kids very clearly that books and the search for knowledge in libraries aren't very important.
The position of school librarian is to be eliminated at Wy'east (and at Hood River Valley High School that role is slashed to half time status). Wy'east's school library opened in 1952; we who have attended Wy'east any time during the last 50 years have counted on having a library as surely as we've counted on having drinking fountains, math classes, and basketball.
If books and libraries aren't at the core of education, what is? Current research indicates that libraries, staffed with licensed school librarians, are significant in developing students' reading skills. Without a librarian, a young student's search can become so frustrating that far too many projects are left incomplete because the kid just can't figure out how to take the next step -- particularly when that next step involves complex electronic operations. And students suffer when they don't have regular visits to a room filled to the brim with books and other sources of knowledge.
Through educational leadership, integration of technology into instruction, and collaboration with classroom teachers, school librarians are very often the adhesive that integrates student learning.
Partial education isn't good enough for the kids of Wy'east. May the library and librarian continue to be energizing parts of those students' lives.
Virginia Euwer Wolff