The school library

Are libraries becoming a thing of the past?  I’ve been working with our head librarian over the last couple of years to decide on what resources would support the French Immersion program in our school and quite frankly, we’re having difficulty coming up with anything.  Everything students need can be found on-line these days.  Our library was subscribing to several French magazines, which I had our librarian cancel.  The students aren’t looking at them, so it’s a waste of money.  The only reading they do is the reading they need to do for their classes, so I’ve only added a few extra novels to the collection over the last couple of years.  They ask me if I’d like DVDs.  Well, I’d rather have the DVD at my disposal in my department rather than have to go to the library to get it.

Students are coming to the library:

1.  to print out their assignments

2.  to do research on the computer

3.  quiet study

When classes are brought down to the library, they use the computers.  The book carts, generally speaking, remain empty.   No one is looking at the stacks of books we have.  It breaks my heart.

I love books.  I love the feeling of opening the pages, sitting on the couch by the fireplace and relaxing with a good book.  I don’t think I’d have that same cozy feeling using an iPad! (I’m not knocking iPads…my house looks like an Apple store: iMacs, Macbook, iPod, iPhones, Apple TV…I’m just itching for an iPad!)

When I bring my classes down, I go to the stacks, find the books that my students need and literally put the book in their hands.  They won’t do it otherwise.  It’s just sad to see that the library has just become another computer lab.

What will become of our libraries and librarians, our greatest support for student literacy, French or otherwise?  It will be interesting to see how technology will affect school libraries over the next decade.


About Mme Martin

I am a high school French teacher in Ontario, Canada. I've been a teacher for the last 14 years and I love what I do. I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching by learning from my colleagues, reading, attending conferences and workshops. I also completed a Masters of Education degree, specializing in Second Language Acquisition. My goal is to increase students' oral fluency in French and I would like to share this journey with you in the hopes that you will find new ideas and be inspired to do the same. I will let you know what I try in my classes and what works and what doesn't. I hope you will find a wealth of ideas to use in your class.
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2 Responses to The school library

  1. mishieru777 says:

    J’ai le même problème avec mon école en Colombie-Britannique. La bibliothèque est devenue une salle d’informatique. On vient, par contre, de commander des livres mais on en a fait choisir par des étudiants et on a acheté beaucoup de livres populaires en anglais mais traduit en français.(certains livres sont à la bibliothèque, certains sont dans ma classe). Au sujet des revues, on n’en a pas dans notre bibliothèque mais j’ai abonné l’école à certaines revues et je les mets dans ma classe sur une table et les étudiants peuvent les prendre pour les lire. Certains livres et revues disparaissent mais c’est le prix à payer pour inciter les élèves à lire!

    • Mme Martin says:

      Moi aussi, j’ai des revues en classe et ils les lisent de temps en temps. C’est une très bonne idée de les faire choisir les livres. Je vais l’essayer aussi. Merci infiniment pour la suggestion!

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