Secondary school with no library

(61 Posts)
difficultpickle Sun 06-Oct-13 10:27:49

Visited a secondary school yesterday and asked to see the library. The lovely sixth former showing us round didn't know where it was. I wondered if it was a language issue (he was Russian) even though his English was perfect. I asked a teacher who said that they didn't have a library but were building a 'learning resource centre' that would have computers and ipads but no books. He justified it by saying that these days university libraries are moving away from having books as everything is available on line.

I was rather hmm and shock at this. It is the fourth senior school we've visited and the first without a library. All the other schools had at least one library and some also had small libraries in the boarding houses. I'm not sure what to make of a school without a library. I appreciate that technology is important and I love my Kindle for fiction but I still prefer to read proper non-fiction books, actual real books rather than on line. Am I just old or do others think it is a bit odd?

ThreeTomatoes Sun 06-Oct-13 11:20:27

dd would strike this school off her shortlist grin.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 06-Oct-13 11:24:22

Dd loves borrowing books from the public library & the school library. She has done so since primary.

We considered a kindle but they don't support e book lending & we felt an e book reader was far more restricting & expensive than being able to borrow actual books

Saying that my own secondary school didn't have a library we could borrow from (though it didn't have a 6th form) the library was just where the English dept kept their textbooks.

nkf Sun 06-Oct-13 11:27:11

I couldn't do it. I couldn't sent a child to an educational establishment without a library. I know that makes me sound like some sort of weird Luddite, but I don't care. A library is a library. A thing of books. A quiet place. A place where you read. A learning resource centre is something else. Not everything is available online. It's not just a room full of books. They're Philistines.

ZiaMaria Sun 06-Oct-13 11:33:14

In the workplace, yes, most things are online (if you can afford the subscriptions). But a lack of a library with, you know, fiction and stuff would just make me think the school does not value literature and the general art pof being able to sit down and read something for fun as oppose to for a school project.

We had a proper library at school. With fiction that you could borrow. It was the best part of the school.

DameDeepRedBetty Sun 06-Oct-13 11:36:57

E readers are rubbish for 'serious' reading. It's impossible to flick back to maps or graphs or illustrations. And flicking from one screen to another on a pc is almost as annoying. I NEED to be able to stick post-it notes on pages etc!

hardboiled Sun 06-Oct-13 13:30:33

No library?! DS has just started Yr7 and spends hours in the library, he borrows books, he reads factual magazines, he does homework...
IMO A library is as necessary as a gym!

difficultpickle Sun 06-Oct-13 14:10:02

I have a kindle keyboard and ds has a kindle touch. Ds gets books out of the library both fiction and non-fiction whereas I will only get non-fiction books. I love my kindle as I commute to work by train and it is light to carry. I can also download books when I feel like it.

I was truly gobsmacked at the thought of a school with no library and this was a school that charges nearly £30,000 a year for full boarding.

Ds is in year 5 and spends lots of his break times helping in the school library and seems to spend as much time as he can in there. In the summer holidays he spent a couple of days helping out in our local library having gone in there and asked if there was anything he could do!

GinAndIt Sun 06-Oct-13 14:12:17

There's no way on Earth I would consider sending my child to a school without a library. 'Learning resource centre'? Fgs.

GinAndIt Sun 06-Oct-13 14:13:34

Name and shame, bisjo, name and shame, please grin

difficultpickle Sun 06-Oct-13 14:26:35

It was Shiplake. I thought it seemed like a lovely, caring school with lots to offer. The teacher I spoke to said they still had textbooks but really gave me the impression that I was incredibly old-fashioned to be expecting a real library.

Camargue Sun 06-Oct-13 15:40:32

Our state comp has an LRC, not a library, with seemingly few books in. Many universities also call them LRCs now, but I agree. I would hate to send my child somewhere with no library - our state primary doesn't have one, and the local one is pitiful- but we may well have no choice.

Takver Sun 06-Oct-13 15:42:59

The other thing to consider is that the library can be a real refuge for dc - dd has just started yr 7 and often goes to the library at lunchtimes often I think because it is all a bit much and she just wants to be somewhere quiet. Her school is the opposite, they have a huge library, one part quiet with books for reading/homework, the other end they have librarians, also clubs most days (poetry club, boardgames club), and all pupils are meant to carry a novel with them at all times. (I'm always tickled by this rule - I assume you wouldn't actually be in trouble if you were carrying a slim volume of poetry grin )

DS2 would hate to go to a school without a library. He visits the school library most lunchtimes. He and DS1 are also expected to carry a reading book at all times, but the genre isn't specified. smile

MrsBramleyApple Sun 06-Oct-13 16:14:53

Gosh! I know a former teacher at Shiplake who retired many years ago. I bet there was a library there when he was there! He even wrote a history of the school!!!

NoComet Sun 06-Oct-13 16:23:33

DD lives in the school library, she's not a great one for making friends, the library is her haven.

A school with no library would not be on her short list.

Bemused33 Sun 06-Oct-13 16:25:08

Actually the closest secondary here does not have a library! Only just realised but there are so many other things wrong with the school I missed that bit!

I agree with takver's post - a library is about so much more than books.

At my school it is used every break and lunch as a quiet haven, all our pupils are expected to have a reading book with them at all times (doesn't matter if it's a novel, poetry or non-fiction!) and we have pupils as librarians who take on responsibilities each day.

A LRC is more like an ICT suite surely?

I would not think very highly of a school without a library no matter how caring it was (and I'm a Science teacher!)

ThreeTomatoes Sun 06-Oct-13 16:37:22

All the schools we've visited call them "learning resource centres" now -but they do have books!!

If they're moving towards being all online, is useless for studying in terms of reading materials. I study with the OU and as it gets more online-focused people are getting worried that text books are going to be phased out - I couldn't study properly without a proper textbook -as another poster said, you need to be able to use post-its and scribble notes and highlight bits etc etc, and flick back & forth easily. (Mind you, the pdfs are good when you want to use the 'search' function)

Kindles et al are only ok for fiction but even then i prefer a proper book.

BoundandRebound Sun 06-Oct-13 16:44:23

That's awful

I would strike it off list too

HSMMaCM Sun 06-Oct-13 17:06:07

DD's school does not have a library, but there is a public library next to the school. They have loads of places they can go for refuge and quiet though.

senua Sun 06-Oct-13 17:08:19

I understand (but don't like) the logic, but why have they already got rid of the Library when the LRC won't be open until Sep 2014? What on earth are they doing in the meantime for current pupils?
Bad management!

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 06-Oct-13 17:15:53

They are daft.

Universities do have a lot of online resources these days, but not all of it, and it never will be all of it. Largely it is to reduce pressure on having multiple copies of the same books if only one chapter/essay in it is on the reading list.

Different studying methods for different personalities applies to children who've grown up with tech too!

mummytime Sun 06-Oct-13 17:42:15

My DS's new school (in Reading BTW), is a Computer Science and Engineering specialist; even it has a Library, not many books (but some) and journals and lots of online stuff. All the State comps I know have Learning Resource centres with lots of books.

ihearsounds Sun 06-Oct-13 17:45:14

Not every book is in digital form. In 2011 there was over 130 million books, and it was estimated then that it will take 6 years at least to get every book in digital format. By having no physical books you are limiting yourself. Then not everyone can read digital formats, others experience something akin to motion sickness.

Our school has a library, because lets face it, as much as I love my ereader, physical books and libraries give you more. Somewhere quiet to study. Easier to cross reference several books when they are laid out in front of you. Life skills for students who help to run the library, plus the extras they do like research etc for displays. The head wanted to do away with this element and just have the digital version, which takes up less space. So we closed it off. She quickly changed her mind when she saw how limiting it was. No it's not just full of books, we also have computers, ipads etc. We also use qr code to link vids and other digital material to books.

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