Monday, April 6, 2009

School Libraries

This is School Library Media Month and I wanted to take this opportunity to make a few comments about school libraries. School libraries had a big impact on me personally. The year that I was in the sixth grade was probably the most disruptive year of my life. My father was in the contruction business and work was hard to find that year. I ended up going to five different schools in three different states. One of the schools that I went to was in Columbia, Tennessee, and the class I was in made a regular visit to the school library. It was here that I discovered a wonderful group of adventure books and got hooked on reading. The joy of reading that I discovered there has remained with me throughtout my life and was a large part of why I became a librarian. It is extremely disappointing that the position of school librarian in elementary schools is in such jeapordy when hard times hit. School libraries seem to have embraced technology with a vengeance but technology hasn't been the panacea that some thought. Libraries and librarians change lives not technology.

I have always thought that public relations should be a year-round endeavor and promoting libraries on a day, a week, or month shouldn't detract from that need. Although School Library Media Month didn't start until 1985, the school librarian in Horsehead, New York (see above) convinced the local postmaster to promote School Library Media Day with a special postmark on April 30, 1976. I have noted previously on this blog that celebrating a "library day" in schools dates back to as early as 1892.

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