NJ School District Restricts School Library Access

Parents are upset over a decision, made by Mahwah Public Schools, to reduce students access to books in the school libraries.

For some of the schools in the district, students can only take out books every other week. For others, it can once every three weeks. It has been said that the reason that the school district change the borrowing policy so the district could incorporate more technology standards into the curriculum, required by the New Jersey Department of Education.

As the district superintendent said in a statement:

We reshaped our library media schedule, adjusting the allocation of instructional time devoted to book circulation to include a creative approach to expose our students to a range of information and instructional experiences. Let us emphasize that students still have access to books through alternating library media circulation, as well as through each classroom library’s offerings.”

Not that I condone what this school district is doing, but this provides the parents a perfect opportunity to take a closer look at how they are encouraging reading in their children’s lives. “What alternatives can we look at?” “Are we visiting public libraries/bookstores?” These are just some of the questions they can be asking themselves. We are now in a society where being advanced in technology is favored over high literacy. This is a chance for parents to encourage reading more in their children’s lives. You can’t rely on the schools to do it for you.

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