Wednesday, June 03, 2009

School libraries...

I remember how much time I spent in my school library, from the time I was a wee one in elementary school, through middle school, when I was a student volunteer and then in high school where I spent lots of time doing research. So this story upset me a lot. And it's happening here in Canada too. I can't believe school boards are so short-sighted they can't see that school librarians are absolutely necessary. Mrs. Shore and Mr. Dalton (elementary and middle school librarians) stand out in my mind to this day. Mrs. Shore was very strict with us and taught us the correct way to handle books, as well as the ins and outs of the Dewey Decimal system etc. while Mr. Dalton gave us more and more reponsibilities over the two years I was one of his volunteers, giving me my first real taste of how things ran behind the scenes in a library.

As the reporter rightly points out, there are many adults who don't know how to use the library, so how are they going to teach their children? And with so many parents having to work full-time, even if they are familiar with the library system, will they have the time to introduce their children to it? We had a regular library class with Mrs. Shore throughout my elementary school years. And Mr. D was always available to help. I can't imagine how school boards expect children to gain the knowledge they require without help for a librarian, especially in smaller towns where the public library might also be suffering from cutbacks to its hours.

What do you think of this? Do you have fond memories of any of your school librarians?

In other news, we were away in Tofino last week - it was a wonderful mini-vacation. I'll post a small piece about it here soon and give a full report over on my Windshield Chronicles blog as time allows.


Currently Reading: Once in a Lifetime by Cathy Kelly
Link of the Day: Historical Thesaurus of English


The Orange Cat said...

Not just school libraries, surely. I don't have too many memories of my school libraries- neither the junior school one nor the one at high school but libraries are such comforting places to be, aren't they? All those rows of books, its even better if they are hardbound, its like rows of skeletons in some medical school, only better- you don't just read the books, you talk to the countless others who've read them before you.
I have only one problem with libraries: I can never really feel satisfied with a book which I know I have to return within three weeks. Its so much better to buy your own books- but then, good, cheap books belong to the same genre as the free college education. :)
Librarians are important, oh yes. Exactly how can anyone justify removing librarians? I'll paraphrase Lucien, from The Sandman: without librarians, civilization would collapse! A slight overstatement perhaps but they are as much a part of the library as the books are themselves.

Tess said...

Orange Cat -yep, I know it's not just school libraries.

I understand re returning books - there are some I just HAVE to own. But given how much I read and the square footage of my house, borrowing from the library is pretty necessary, else I'd soon run out of room for furniture etc *g*