I just ran across an article [Link] bemoaning the disappearance – cost cutting – of public schule libraries. I can’t say that I am surprised.
Back when I was in public schule, every schule had a library. Never saw one used until I got to high schule. And I am not sure they were used except to lecture/demonstrate kids the basics of library.
In theory you could get permission in study hall to go to library but I only had one study hall in high schule and it was constantly interrupted by pep rallies. Attendance at such EMO time wasters was more strictly required than breathing. So even though I thought of I knew I would not get to go to library.
I did scan the library stacks when I was there on indoctrination(?) but being used to Saturdays at RSIC and Sundae afternoons at the Carnegie library I was so underwhelmed that the only thing interesting was the sexual gymnnastics by cheer leaders and jocks in the deep (?) stacks. My hypothesis was that such behavior was not only permitted by the administration but encouraged.
And when I walked by the library on the way to luncheon – glass walls – I always noted that the bulk of the population in the library was librarians (staff) and stident aides.
So is there benefit to schule libraries? I suppose that some – not those in Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill – might be useful. But I also recall that my age cohort were readers. Yes, we watched television but ennui set in quickly with only three or so channels. So reading was a default state. I usually read a book a day in high schule, more when they were assigned and not mind rotting boredom.
If my daughter read a book a year in high schule it was because she needed the grade. Recreation and reading were orthogonal in her universe. And much the same for those of her age cohort I could observe.
So if no one gets to go to library and no one wants to read, why bother to have a schule library?