The benefits of school librarians

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post about school librarians…

I know. Schools are closed in most countries of the world right now so you may be wondering why I’m writing about school librarians.

Here’s the issue: when the pandemic is over, our economies are going to be a mess and many budgets will be on the chopping block. And what get cut first in schools? Music programs and librarians. Unfair, but true.

This reality is why I so appreciated a post by writer Ola Kowalczyk on the website LitHub about the value of school librarians. Under the headline, “100 things schoolchildren will miss without a librarian,” the post — and accompanying infographic — spell out the many ways in which school libraries, and librarians make a difference.

Here were my 10 favourites:

  • A place to study without grades
  • Adapting to new situations (like coronavirus?)
  • How to search efficiently and effectively
  • Using information ethically
  • Someone to talk to and someone who listens
  • Learning the implications of a digital footprint
  • Resources that will broaden their global perspectives
  • The ability to experiment with and master new technology
  • A place to “shop” for free
  • Confidentiality

But there are 90 more reasons, all of them persuasive.

I was practically born loving to read, but many kids aren’t. A school librarian can open new worlds for them and better equip them for life in the 21st century, where reading is such a crucial skill.

When the pandemic (finally) ends, prepare to do battle at your school to protect the important work of librarians and school libraries. I think it’s going to be a heck of a fight.