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What does a good library tell you about a school?

What does a good library tell you about a school?

“Too often, the most telling signs of a successful school goes unrecognized.  A good library program is a clear signal that the school:

  1. Believes education is about teaching kids how to ask and answer questions, not just know the “right” answers and that asking good questions is a sign of intelligence, not stupidity.

  2. Believes kids should have access to a diversity of topics and points-of-view and be taught the skills to make informed opinions of their own. This should be as important to every parent, regardless of political affiliation.

  3. Believes kids’ personal interests are legitimate areas of investigation and that curiosity is a trait worth cultivating. Kids who won’t read novels may well read books and magazines devoted to cars, video games or sports.

  4. Believes it is as important to create kids who want to read as to simply create kids who can read and that everyone should read for pleasure. Whether the reading is done in books, magazines or online, fiction or factual, long works or short, all reading is respected and valued.

  5. Believes access to good fiction collections of both contemporary novels and classics helps kids meet critical developmental tasks and that reading fiction builds the capacity for empathy.

  6. Believes kids should be content creators and content sharers as well as content consumers. The skills, guidance and equipment to make movies, websites or audio casts is a critical function of our best library programs.

  7. Believes it is important to have more research skills than simply being able to Google a topic – and that it is important to have a professional who teaches those skills. Good librarians teach discrimination, organization and synthesis skills – not just how to create footnotes.

  8. Believes high quality commercial sources of information should be available to all kids regardless of economic level. While there is a good deal of information available at no cost. much of it has a commercial bias, may be incomplete, and lack authority. Good databases and online reference materials cost money – just like print.

  9. Believes technology use in education is about creativity, problem-solving and communications, not just drill and practice.

  10. Believes learning occurs in lots of places, not just in the classroom and that learning takes place outside school hours. Good libraries are open before and after school, during lunch time, and when students have study periods. And really good libraries are “open” virtually, 24/7

  11. Believes kids, like adults, sometimes need a “third place” that is neither the classroom nor home where they feel welcome, comfortable and productive. Good libraries recognize that learning is often social in physical spaces as well as online.

  12. Believes life-long learning applies to adults as well as to children. An important role of the librarian is teaching teachers new skills and new resources.”

Posted on: April 30, 2020, 6:05 am Category: Uncategorized

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