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Many schools are closing their libraries, laying off their librarians, and getting rid of physical books. Unfortunately, when the budget gets cut, libraries are one of the first things to go. This is doing a disservice to students and taking away a valuable and enriching resource.

School libraries are invaluable for students, especially for students who struggle with reading. Studies show that having a library affects student achievement and reading scores in a positive way. The impact of having a school library is even greater for students with learning disabilities.  

In the age of information, some believe the Internet will make libraries obsolete. Now, more than ever, libraries are needed. The Internet is full of information and even more disinformation. Students are growing up bombarded by social media, advertisements and propaganda. Students often need guidance to sift through it all to find reliable sources, and to do research effectively. It is also important that students learn digital citizenship – how to safely use the Internet, the importance of privacy, and awareness of how they conduct themselves online. The library is a place to learn and practice these research and Internet safety skills. 

Springer’s vision was to build a new library, placing it at the heart of the school. Months of construction, and grants from foundations brought this vision to life. The new library has a focus on physical books as well as an emphasis on technology. The Springer library is an inviting multipurpose environment for students to grow as readers and learners.   

It was a conscious decision to keep physical books in the library. Five hundred new books were purchased, and new movable bookshelves were selected. Books were carefully chosen to reflect diversity in race, gender, culture and experience. While we are exploring more eBook options to bring into the library, there is value in having physical books. Students are able to browse through the shelves, look through a book and turn the pages. This kinesthetic process helps students interact with the books in meaningful ways. Part of the joy of a picture book is turning the pages, pointing to the illustrations and interacting with the book itself.

Each week at Springer, students participate in enriching lessons and get time to browse around and find what interests them. Students ask each other for suggestions, and they share books they love. They are given time to explore these books and read them. Through this process, they discover and enhance their interest and skills in reading.

The decision to build a new library shows Springer’s value of reading and its commitment to their students’ learning. With this new library, comes new and exciting possibilities for Springer students. 

Library Media Specialist Amanda Forbes shares her knowledge in literature, library media, and technology, and in supporting students in literacy and digital information skills. If you have questions, please contact Amanda at aforbes@springer-ld.org.

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