Across the country, school libraries are disappearing and aren’t holding the educational value that they used to.
Libraries have been struggling to stay relevant currently, as well as in the future. Technology has advanced to the point where people can easily access information that in the past could only be found at a library.
School libraries are slowly disappearing from the education landscape or turning into facilities that schools think would be more useful for students in the age of technology. Libraries in general have always been a big part of a student’s education in the past, helping students with their homework, or supplying them with a good book to read.
Since technology has advanced so rapidly in recent years, so have people’s ways of life. Books are replaced by computers, and school libraries are replaced with computer hubs. When everything started to change, libraries were left with books collecting dust; not a lot of people were using them like they use to. Instead, teachers and students went towards the new and exciting ways of getting better research through technology.
Despite the trend away from school libraries, Helix School District maintains theirs. “ There’s so much research showing how important reading is to everything, the more you read the better writer you are,” said Darrick Cope, Principal of the Helix School District.
Reading is a tool and a resource that educators take into consideration for every age group. Reading helps kids and adults grow their minds and use them for developing a stronger vocabulary and experiencing new things in life.
“For older kids, libraries have become extinct; kids rarely come in to check anything out at all because everything can be found online. I think that they have definitely decreased in usage,” said Julie Harper, Helix Schools librarian.
The use of libraries since the 17th century, when computers weren’t even a thought , has been so important to students and teachers. Elementary-age students are really the ones who are still using the Helix School Library; they try and get books to check out at least once a week, and Harper reads to the elementary kids weekly.
School libraries are struggling to remain open and keep students interested in books, especially high school students, and that challenge promises to continue. “Twenty years from now, libraries will struggle to keep open,” Cope said. As more students turn to online education , school libraries are in danger of being put in the past, and left in the dust, slowly transitioning into computer hubs or into classrooms.
School libraries have had a positive effect on younger kids by allowing elementary students to get books once a week and provide them with a story time. Libraries are trying to stay open by focusing on the younger generation with their education needs and forming what they will be when they grow up.
Since the growth of technology has increased, the popularity of getting a book and finding information has definitely decreased, since the arrival of the internet, few people have considered sitting down and looking at the print on paper--as a result, where it was once unthinkable to not have a school library has slowly evolved into a reality that schools continue to grapple with.