As an elementary, middle school, and high school student student I loved the library. I would finish my work early just so I could go to the library. The library was my favorite place in the school. I felt like a little girl in candy shop--all of those books with adventures waiting for me--and I was in heaven. I would spend hours pursuing the shelves looking for new books--knowing that my stack of check-out books wouldn't last long due to my nighttime habit of reading under the blankets after my sister went to sleep. I remember that day in third grade when I finished all of the Nancy Drew books that the library had. I had been carefully checking off each title as I read it and seeing that last check-mark gave me a sense of accomplishment. You know you've spent too much time in the library when I can remember how the library looked better than any of the classes.
Which is why I was dismayed to see President Obama proposing to eliminate the federal funding for school libaries. Under Obama's proposal libraries will be put on a spending freeze, and none of the money earmarked for education can be used towards library education. I understand we are in a recession, but education isn't the place to make budget cuts. Especially when it will effect the most needy students, those schools that have 20% or more living below the poverty line. I believe that it's hard to have a love for education without a love for reading.
I know that the libraries have taken on additional roles over the years, but their purpose is still the same--to educate and inspire.
You can read more about Obama's proposal here.
Check out American Association of School Libraries (AASL) for information and resources about the proposed cuts and what you can do about it.
What memories do you have of your school library. Was your library a place of refuge or did you hate going there?