Why school librarians matter

Yealin Lee, Videographer

Silence in the library should be dreaded, as there would be an absence of the beeping sound from a library book checkout, or any commotion caused by the huddling of students near the printer before a paper is due. Schools in the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) like Bonita Vista High (BVH) are starting to lose their librarians and consequently, it would be a great loss to the community.

According to Julie Biando Edwards, Melissa S. Rauseo and Kelley Rae Unger who wrote Community Centered: 23 Reasons Why Your Library Is the Most Important Place in Town, librarians are in the best position to not only bring up pressing issues in the school but also to partner with local governments and agencies to address the needs in a community.

“Public librarians know their communities firsthand, and are often the first to recognize a pressing local need […] because they interact on a daily basis with patrons from all walks of life,” Edwards, Rauseo, and Unger said.

There are plenty of students that forget or lose their textbooks, or books in general. With the absence of librarians, who will take responsibility for missing books? Librarians are known at BVH to email students who owe a certain balance of books. Without the librarians keeping check on students, the SUHSD will be losing money that could be prevented.

Students are moving farther away from paperback information and are more attracted to using online sources. Libraries have always played an essential role in preserving information for future generations. However, the library itself can’t perform these tasks.

“As more information moves from physical to digital mediums, we have an even greater opportunity to preserve in even greater detail and librarians can lead that preservation, documentation, categorization, and cataloging,” USC Marshall school of business said.

It is crucial for students who are writing a paper to use credible information. Although, online sources can vary in quality and students may not know the difference. It is very important for students to have the opportunity to get sources validated.

“As easy as it is to search for information” USC Marshall school of business said. “Being able to distinguish between what’s reliable and what’s unreliable is ever more important. A librarian can assess the quality of the information and help better guide users,” USC Marshall school of business said.

According to Nader Qaimari, from Publisher Weekly, librarians are trained to help students become better readers, better digital citizens and more informed people in general.

“We have a serious reading problem; more than 30 million adults cannot read at a third-grade level, according to ProLiteracy, a nonprofit that focuses on adult literacy. Children of illiterate adults have a 72% chance of being at a low level of literacy themselves,” Qaimari said.

According to Keith Curry Lance and Debra E. Kachel from Phi Delta Kappan, research also suggests that the presence of school librarians has a long-term, cumulative effect. In a Pennsylvania study, if schools had full-time librarians, reading scores were consistently better for all grade levels of students. Schools with full-time librarians also had fewer Below Basic scores than those without librarians.

All students should have access to a librarian, and if not parents should be infuriated. Internet access should not be an excuse for librarians being cut; it’s like saying a math teacher is no longer needed because there are calculators available to them.