As one of the thousands of Spokane Public School employees, I’d like to thank you, Spokane voters, for your unwavering support of our city’s children. Now, as we welcome the return of students to our buildings, the issue of reinstating librarians in all schools must be addressed. Libraries have been dark far too long. It is time to turn the lights back on.
Evidence makes clear that deficient reading skills impact individuals not only in the present, but for their entire lives. Librarians often provide the link between kids who read and those who struggle to read. With the pause in in-person learning, it is reasonable to believe that many students have neglected to maintain their reading proficiency. As they return to their buildings and classes, librarians will be needed more than ever to provide encouragement and suggestions for rebuilding skills.
Our librarians always have and always will guide readers into avenues of learning unlike any other teacher. They hook kids into different types of literature. They provide a safe space for those who need a little peace during the school day. Librarians celebrate with students who reach goals and who re-learn the love of reading. Librarians collaborate with teachers to instruct children in valuable media literacy skills to attain proficiency at navigating the vast amount of information available to them. Often, our librarians become the mentor to those kids who don’t connect with others.
Spokane Public Schools, please open the libraries, turn on the lights, and allow our librarians to welcome all students into the world of imagination and knowledge.
Debra Trujillo-Gilbert, teacher, Salk Middle School