I mentioned in an earlier blog post how fortunate this school library is to have received a renovation grant. I can’t help but wish that every school would be so fortunate. Of course, ours is not the only school in our Board to have been selected. In fact, at least three more school libraries will benefit from some well-deserved improvements. And that’s a good thing!
It’s a good thing because decision makers are realizing that libraries are more than just about books. Books will always be important in our libraries and we must strive to maintain book-buying budgets. Our students’ needs change all the time. Meeting their needs in a well-equipped library, one that is in keeping with 21st century learning, can only increase each student’s chances for success. It’s a small part, but including library upgrades in a school’s plan for success acknowledges its place in the bigger picture.
We are nearing the end of the school year, the renovation work is progressing well and disruptions to the library’s schedule will soon come to an end. What better way to celebrate the near completion of a project of this scope than to invite one of our students’ favourite authors to address them!
When a colleague offered the opportunity to host Eric Walters at our school, I jumped at the chance. Our principal supported the idea and approval was given to cover costs with the library’s budget. That began an almost year-long planning and co-ordinating marathon. A class set of The Rule of Thre3 was ordered for a teacher eager to study this dystopian novel with her students. Additional copies of appropriate E.W. teen novels were added to the library’s collection.
Students were encouraged to read. And read they did. Several novels per student! For months on end!
Arrangements were made to include close to 200 students and teachers at the presentation – at a time when exams have already started! Our main entrance was decorated with student survival kit projects and posters on the scheduled day of his visit. In our excitement, no one took pictures! Out of respect, no one took pictures. We did not want to break the spell. Like magic, the students hung onto every word, laughed and got teary-eyed as if on cue. A day later, the students were back in the library asking for more Eric Walters books.
Was it worth all the planning, scheduling and book-talking? You bet! A visit by Eric Walters, empowering teens, encouraging them (boys in particular) to read, was a fabulous way to celebrate bringing our Library into the 21st century.
Submitted by C.A.Case from PCHS