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Libraries in Schools
LiS is the way our school year ended
April 9, 2015

Today, we have nearly completed our feedback on 6 of the 7 schools we work with, on the Libraries in Schools Program

We have had meetings scheduled with each school staff and principal and shared our, our struggles and the way forward for LiS to keep going to schools. 

As I reflect on these meetings, I realise that the schools enthusiasm does not always match our own. There is unanimous acknowledgement that the students embrace the program, await the library teachers and in schools where the staff are barely aware of our presence, they say they know it is library day from the excited anticipation of the students! 

I take these are bountiful rewards of love and encouragement to plan and program another school year! Yet, I must take heed and heart of the notions that abound amongst teachers on what constitute learning and a learning environment. 

Eight hard truths …

  1. Students must sit in place to learn ( read, if they are moving about and there is an activity in the class, it means there is chaos and no learning)
  2. Students should quietly pick their books and go back and sit in place ( read, browsing cannot happen with talk and sharing, spending time at the row of books and the multitude of choices, means a waste of time )
  3. Students should be told to NOT open their library book during non library classes ( read, that a growing interest in the book they have is a sign of distraction from the hard learning that a primary school student must engage with, when coping ready made answers from the black board or sitting quietly in place)
  4. Students must be spoken to in English ( read, why o why are you using Hindi, Konkani, Marathi in the Library class when the books are in English !!!!)
  5. Students are noisy and there is too much talk (read,  how can learning occur when you allow the students to talk ? Aren’t you the teacher, the knower, the one whose voice should be heard!)
  6. Teacher/ Resource Person cannot handle the class ( read, there is activity, movement and too much joy in your classes to be true)
  7. Children are not reading ( read, the act of borrowing, browsing, looking at the pictures, making sense of the few words they can decode are not acts of a reader)
  8. Be strict ( read, shout, whack, punish, threaten to beat the act of learning out of the students)

It would be entirely incorrect to say that the schools we work with are not positive about the LiS program, but what overrides that for me is their attitudes to learning and teaching that we must begin to grapple more strongly with. Until then…

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