Community Support for School Libraries.

You may or may not have read “Ode to a School Librarian.”  It was printed in the November 27th issue of the Nettle Creek Gazette.  This week, two “Letters to the Editor” will be printed in response.  Please note that I’m adding them in here verbatim.

Letter by Judie Litton

After reading the article “Ode to the School Library, I felt compelled to write a letter.  I find it very unsettled that both of our schools do not have a staff librarian to help serve our students.  This is another example of our cuts in staff and services going to far.

Many kids do not have access to the internet at home, therefore the school library, with the assistance of a trained staff member, is invaluable.

There are many avenues for a student to find answers to school research but it takes someone trained in that area to help guide them many times.

Furthermore, if I understand correctly, high school students do not have access to the school library, mainly because there is no staff available.  What a loss.  It was bad enough the school did away with the industrial art and journalism departments, now students can’t even visit the library without the class going on a scheduled time.

We are very fortunate to have a first class local library, great head librarian Ruth Frasur and super supporting staff.  It is somewhat of an embarrassment to realize the schools have reduced this valuable resource to a third rate institution.

Letter by Jane Stevens (the retired local school librarian)

Thank you, Ruth Frasur, for your November 27th words of wisdom concerning library services in our community.  I will restrict myself to adding that school libraries serve the individual child.  This idea that passing a test proves that a student is educated is not the whole story.  Our children need to enjoy reading, writing, and learning.  Our libraries exist to promote independent study, serve individual interests and needs, and to provide materials that answer those questions to which every single student wants the answers.

I am worried that our educationally valuable library collections might be mismanaged or worse, not managed at all.  We have had a school librarian for as long as I can remember.  Do we really want to do without a member of a profession?