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Grim Reality

Musing Mondays2

In this week’s question, the host of Musing Mondays is confronted by a harsh reality:

The local Catholic school board is closing its school libraries, and parents and teachers, and even the students—are in an uproar. Budget cuts demanded that the board choose something to get rid of… they choose libraries. As such, many librarians have lost their jobs. And, the board is moving the books to the classrooms, instead. They feel that it is a good solution.

What do you think? Should the schools be without an actual “library” room? Is this a good solution?

I’m outraged that budget cuts have taken a huge toll on the quality of education, which is the gateway of our future. All over California education is taking the axe from an ever diminishing budget. Some school districts anticipate even fewer school days and close for summer vacation early. Others have opted to cut peripheral services such as after-school programs and library hours. The most macabre story I heard is the reduction of library service to one hour a day, four days a week.

While not all kids are (going to be) fanatic readers who bury their noses in a book, library is still an integral component of a quality education. Libraries foster an atmosphere for inquiring and researching for knowledge, encourage reading, and provide an interactive learning experience in which kids seek the expertise of librarians, who are usually resourceful and very well-read.

Public libraries are considered non-essential agencies which are unfortunately the first to take the brunt when there is a budget cut. What outrages me the most is that even a private school has to axe libraries and deprive students of the one place that will mold and prune their minds. From elementary school up until college, I spent most of my free time in the library—doing homework, working on a term paper, or browsing for books. I couldn’t imagine completing the dissertation without the services of the library, which has played a role in shaping the person that I am. I feel sorry for the kids whose scope of the world ceases to exist beyond textbooks.

10 Responses

  1. Matt,

    I am afraid this is just another sign that we have begun to live in, and will increasingly be living in a post-literate society. Those of us with our noses always in a book are the dinosaurs. I agree with you in that when I was growing up all manner of libraries were my refuge, followed closely by book stores. I guess some of us are just pre-disposed to it!

    • Haha…I was just telling my friend that we book lovers and readers are human beings that cling on the past. We are dinosaurs. I don’t hold anything against e-readers, as long as people are still reading. I just cannot imagine living without libraries, where you go in to engage in research and just read quietly.

  2. As a middle school library lady my heart breaks when I read story after story where the schools start with the library FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’re doing so much damage to our society by making the cuts there. Libraries need to stay open and our children DESERVE to have them available. How can we call ourselves educators and deny them this basic right??? It’s shameful.

    • I don’t understand the priority here. When it’s becoming between cutting school lunches and libraries, shouldn’t federal government be rethinking about further cuts in education? That makes me very upset, in fact, angry. Some of the local parents are raising funds to keep the libraries open.

  3. Public education and library access are the foundations of democracy. It’s more than just access to books it’s the portal to learn about research and self learning. It’s a definite travesty and angers me deeply.

    • It’s so true. In preserving the rights of people abroad at the expense of our tax money, our children are deprived of their rights—the rights to learning and access to books.

  4. This is tragic. I can scarcely believe such blindness and shortsightedness governing decisions. I hope there is a groundswell of support for keeping libraries. The lack of support for schools in general is very worrisome — closing the library is the capstone being pulled from the arch.

    • The next step would be parents uniting against closure of libraries and peripheral educational services that should be made accessible to all students. A school is never complete without a library, in my opinion.

  5. The whole thing makes me really sad. I’ve always told my son that as long as we have libraries we will remain civilized. I think they need to find other things to cut.

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