The Importance of the School Library
Why are school libraries important?
The importance of the access to libraries and their books in a child’s development should not be underestimated. Libraries are amazing places which, once discovered, have the potential to compete with toy or sweet shops – with children desperate to get the latest release, the next in the series or the book their friend just finished. A common misconception is that libraries are the preserve of good readers, however, at Beechwood, we are adamant that this is not true. They are the breeding ground for a love of reading and books in everyone. This is important as research has demonstrated a strong link between reading enjoyment and attainment, with reading enjoyment cited as being more important for a child’s success than their socio-economic status.
With the help of dedicated and knowledgeable librarians, regular visits to the library can convert even the most reluctant reader. The Beechwood libraries are stocked with an extensive range of genres (e.g. Comedy, Thriller, Fantasy), formats (e.g. Prose, Verse, Graphic, Dyslexic friendly) and levels (e.g. picture books, early reader, short chapter, complete works). These combine to create an infinite number of pupil passages through their Beechwood library life. There is a book to suit everyone. Once that perfect book is located and enjoyed, it becomes addictive – having enjoyed one, you want another one the same, and so it snowballs – and with the help of our Librarians, this interest is widened and deepened, much like a snowball gathering snow as it travels. Lots of children start with a narrow interest in a specific type of book, and through dialogue and expertise, this is expanded to create an interest in the full scope of the school libraries.
Beechwood recognises that books themselves hold the key to wider development. Yes, they offer an escape and fuel the imagination, but more importantly they expand a child’s vocabulary and comprehension of the world around them; factually, emotionally and socially. For this reason, every child at Beechwood has a Library lesson each week and these are tailored to the class in question – starting with our youngest pupils, who enjoy an engaging story time and borrow a wealth of bright and engaging picture books, progressing through topical discussion of books linked to current affairs and culminating in detailed appreciation of more lengthy texts.
Beechwood’s libraries are more than just books; our libraries offer comfy chairs, ChromeBooks, study areas, magazines and newspapers. Every child has a different reason to visit the library – maybe as a quiet place for respite, or maybe as a place to further study or complete assignments – however in all cases the library offers a unique, engaging and enriching journey.
For more information about the importance of school libraries, visit https://www.sla.org.uk