April is School Library Month, and it is the perfect time to reflect on the benefits school libraries have for students. Much more than just rooms that house books, school libraries are places where students learn to think critically and creatively, to explore and embrace other perspectives, to expand their knowledge and explore their interests and, yes, hopefully, to develop a love of reading.
As one of the American Association of School Librarians’ common beliefs states, “the school library is a unique and essential part of a learning community.” School librarians can and do contribute to student learning by collaborating with classroom teachers and helping to teach students valuable inquiry skills that will serve them as lifelong learners. School libraries help students to be creative, critical thinkers.
In a typical elementary school library, students might listen to stories, learn coding, tinker in makerspaces, develop questions and explore their interests through inquiry, discover new books and authors that pique their interest and much more.
School libraries also play an essential role in supporting intellectual freedom and in ensuring that all learners feel welcome, included, and represented. School librarians are trained and certified educators who support students and teachers and contribute to the learning environment in countless ways.
During School Library Month, show support for your school library, and remember that supporting school libraries means supporting student learning.