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School Libraries Foster Creativity and Boundless Learning

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

School libraries of today go beyond showcasing books. They provide unique educational activities to transform learning. The library is integral to a high-quality educational program in schools. 

Wisconsin’s school libraries bring a world of possibilities and resources to our students’ fingertips. Join the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction this April in celebrating these amazing spaces during School Library Month. 

What does that look like on the ground? Well, students at Indian Trail High School and Academy in Kenosha have been busy using their 3D printers for STEM projects to create new devices that solve everyday problems. Teachers collaborate with the school librarian, who helps students understand the entire process — from creating the 3D designs all the way through to the printing.

In Mineral Point, the school librarian works with students to write their own books — developing their storylines and fleshing out their characters. Students learn about the business side of publishing by creating their own book “contracts” to define due dates for their work, and use the school library’s computers and book publishing software. Fourth and fifth grade students on the Student Book Budget Team develop their own survey to find out what types of books their fellow students would like to read, and work with their school librarian to acquire those books for their school library. The number one topic requested? Dinosaurs!

Many school libraries have makerspaces where students exercise their brains and use their creativity to problem solve and hone their skills and talents. In one of those spaces, students created a Lego movie with a table full of Legos. They used a student’s original story idea and filmed and edited the movie using a library tablet.

None of these spaces or creative learning would be possible without a licensed school library media specialist.

Even though every school district is required by Wisconsin Administrative Code to have a school librarian, some still do not. If you do not, connect with your school district and encourage them to hire for this integral position.

School librarians provide a safe place for all students. They encourage individualized thinking by encouraging students to seek out new resources, and to make well-informed decisions. School librarians play a critical role in helping to expand literacy by making sure all students have access to books and the resources necessary to develop a love of lifelong learning.

As we celebrate School Library Month, let us thank our school librarians and library support staff for their hard work and commitment to the students of Wisconsin!