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How important is a library?

(20 Posts)
RosaLappen Fri 05-Jul-19 23:32:02

Is it something that you have on your list to look out for on open day?

A local school is planning to get rid of theirs to make room for classrooms. Seems so sad

OP’s posts: |
BackforGood Sat 06-Jul-19 00:33:25

Mine all used their school libraries a lot, during secondary. In the first 3 years or so to borrow books and to just enjoy reading, when they got older as a study area.

CasparBloomberg Sat 06-Jul-19 07:16:24

It says a lot about the school’s priorities being about getting exam table results over looking at the needs of developing the whole child to be a great adult to go out into the world. Schools should be about more, including developing a wider love of reading for pleasure over just cramming for exams. If I knew, I wouldn’t even consider visiting it on an Open Day. You’re right, it is very sad 😔

CasparBloomberg Sat 06-Jul-19 07:25:29

The more I think about this, the worse it sounds. Schools actively promote reading to try to improve overall performance as children who read well for pleasure will find written work in other subjects easier to take in, develop a larger vocabulary and better concentration. There are loads of studies on the benefits of reading. Surely they aren’t getting rid of the library completely, surely no school would do that! Terribly short sighted.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Sat 06-Jul-19 07:30:35

Depends on context... If there is pressure on school places locally meaning they have to increase PAN and that's the only space they can utilise for the extra classrooms I'd be less worried than if they were doing it as they thought they were irrelevant

RedSheep73 Sat 06-Jul-19 07:39:08

That would be a massive red flag for me. How else are the kids going to learn the skills they need for uni?

bellinisurge Sat 06-Jul-19 07:53:02

Absolutely crucial. I would veto a school that didn't have one and tell Ofsted that is why.

LolaSmiles Sat 06-Jul-19 07:57:59

As with others, it depends why its happening.

If the school has been told they have to increase numbers and they don't have the rooms then they have to teach somewhere. Losing the library would be a regrettable necessity.

If they lost the library and this fitted in with a poor range of enrichment, a narrowing of KS4 options, students selecting GCSE options in y8 etc then I would an concerned it is a school that doesn't care for the whole child.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Sat 06-Jul-19 07:59:30

Crucial. DS has just finished Yr 11 and the library has been a really important part of school life for him. I would question the values and priorities of a school with no library, and ask them directly what message they thought that sent to kids.

EvaHarknessRose Sat 06-Jul-19 08:04:55

Dd2 is a library dweller , i think its as important as sporting or musical opportunities. The library has been her thing, as a helper, attending book club' getting involved in book awards etc.

El0die Sat 06-Jul-19 08:06:11

How are they supporting pupils' information needs e.g. for homework or project work? What is their strategy for encouraging reading for pleasure? RFP really drops off a cliff in secondary school yet is a massive indicator of pupil success- more so than parents' social/ economic status. How will the school teach children essential information skills, digital literacy skills? You really can't just 'google it'! And if a school thought 'the internet' was all that was needed, I would not allow my child to go there.
How will they support pupils doing an EPQ?
How will they prepare students for using a library at A level or university?

Pipandmum Sat 06-Jul-19 08:06:26

My son has just finished his GSCEs and while not very academic and not one to revise much he has said he worked best in the library for studying as it was quiet and free from distraction. The school uses the library for after school homework ‘club’. It is also a place kids can go if off games for whatever reason; they conduct some group work projects there too. Basically it’s an essential part of the school life.

WoollyMummoth Sat 06-Jul-19 08:11:23

It’s essential! It’s tragic that they’re considering getting rid of it. How can you encourage and promote the huge benefits of reading to a child’s vocabulary , written work and general knowledge without having a library. It’s like saying learn to swim without a swimming pool. I’d be looking for a different school.

PettsWoodParadise Sat 06-Jul-19 08:12:46

Not just the library as crucial but the librarian. At DDs school she is versatile - helps with good revision techniques, how to research, avoiding plagiarism. She is someone the girls can go to. She identifies curriculum changes and how the library collection needs to evolve as a result.

I support the library by buying books off the school wish list most months. I am sure there are lots more things the librarian does that I don’t know about and would make the school a poorer place without them.

IkeaIsForWinners Sat 06-Jul-19 08:19:51

I think it's a sign of the times. A bulge in the population and a squeeze on the funding means schools have to look at how to maximise their teaching space. Not saying it's right though, just an inevitability

avalanching Sat 06-Jul-19 08:23:17

Ask them if they will have any other library provisions, there are services and subscriptions schools can sign up to with local libraries to provide library provisions. Though I agree I would approach it with caution and scepticism.

avalanching Sat 06-Jul-19 08:26:53

@PettsWoodParadise school librarians are a rare breed now, even I didn't have one back in the early 2000s, the English department managed it. And even rarer for them to be actual qualified librarians.

Library was not a big thing in my school, it did not support the curriculum and we only went for forced reading in some English lessons.

I never felt I really needed it in high school to be fair, university however, whole different ball game.

HigaDequasLuoff Sat 06-Jul-19 08:35:28

I would never send a child to such a school.

For the library to be so un-central to the learning experience that this option would be considered, shows that there's something seriously wrong with the school's whole ethos and approach.

Our school choices are based on a whole range of factors, but I don't think it's coincidence that our order of preference correlates perfectly with the size and quality of the library. A good library is central to a good learning environment. You cannot have the latter without the former.

NeverSayFreelance Sat 06-Jul-19 08:46:04

I didn't step foot in my school library until my final year, and that was only because I needed someone to go for study periods. I am a bookworm, but I didn't need the library. Sad though really, I wish my school had made more of an effort with it.

reluctantbrit Sat 06-Jul-19 15:59:26

I love the library at DD’s school. Each form has one period per week “English at the library” where the teacher and the librarian teach them about books, they learn about styles, authors, play games like a treasure hunt or getting paired with another girl and need to find a book for them.

DD reads tons of books she would never have picked up on her own and developed a range of interest.

The library also doubles as homework club, very Important for children with no support at home.

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