By Maria Doss, Orcas Island School Librarian
There have been several articles and discussion of the cuts to our public school budget, but virtually nothing has been mentioned about the cut of the entire school library program for the year 2012-13.
The school library serves the teachers, staff, K-12 students, and often community members. If our goal is to serve 600 students, then we need to consider their technological and literary necessities. Classrooms have teachers’ book collections, the school has reading teachers, and we have technology in other areas, yet all these resources are brought together and furthered by the open school library.
We have worked hard the past four years to make the library as effective as possible with a half-time librarian and one quarter-time tech assistant:
- We have made progress in bringing in more students to the library, as well as thoroughly serving the staff to further their instructional goals.
- We have worked with the OASIS programs to provide resources for those students.
- We have been the home for the reading testing program that most of our students participate in, as well as administrating that program so it may be used to accommodate the desire to quantify our students’ reading development.
There is always change happening in the library; to accommodate the needs of the school, as well as the ever-growing needs of our students’ skills in information literacy.
Please consider this hole in the school budget and support the reinstatement of the library to our school.
Without the library, informational resources are depleted.
Students are given little opportunity to choose from a wide and varied collection of fiction and nonfiction, much of which has been purchased with community money.
The technology that has been donated to the library will go unused if the building is not open.
In this time of fast change in our culture, in terms of technology and literary genres, the lack of a school library impedes progress in our students’ learning lives.
If it is a goal to make our students life-long learners, than library skills are crucial. Without a library in the school, this guidance is lost.
Finally, the library provides a safe and secure place for our students to spend time. Without this building open, there is no place for many students, who find solace in the library, an environment, to be in. The library is the hub of the school, in many ways, and its complete closure will be a loss to students, staff, families and mainly teachers who rely on the resources the library has to provide.
If you’d like to make a donation to continue our vital school library, you can make it on-line at OIEF.org — or mail it to: OIEF, PO Box 728, Eastsound, WA 98245.