By Haiku Peters, features editor
“Life is a fight for territory and once you stop fighting for what you want, what you don’t want will automatically take over.” ~ Les Brown
Here we are: a year into the pandemic with mere months left in the school year. We’ve come a long way. Our lives all fell apart simultaneously. We were left to drown in chaos grappling for a sense of what we call normalcy. We adapted.
Today, PENNCREST students attend school fully in-person, and the concept of the virtual classroom has improved on a global spectrum. Why? We feared the death of education. We were afraid of what would occur had we not fought for our schools, and to avoid that, we evolved. And we can’t stop fighting for what we want.
That being said, where are we in the fight for literacy? Where is the library cause among the other issues in our district? We can’t let this fall to the side.
Look around for a second. Stores are open, restaurants have open dining rooms, and many of us have returned to work. That’s a major improvement from this time a year ago, yet I’m not satisfied. Do runners cease training once they win a race? No. They’re hungry. They have to train harder, beat their previous times, and be better. It’s in human nature, and I refuse to settle.
What happens to libraries now has the potential to considerably alter the future of literacy — not only within our communities but across the country. If we’re not part of the battle for a solution, we’re only adding to the problem itself. Literacy matters. Books matter. If they didn’t, historically, they wouldn’t be worth the time and effort of burning.
The library issue isn’t just about angry high school students with depleted reading material. This isn’t just about me. People are concerned. Parents are worried about the future education of their children; librarians fear for their jobs. Because I am a senior, the fight will go on without me. All I can do is stress the need for this issue to be addressed and quickly.
On Friday, librarian Mike Brenneman will circulate books for the first time this school year. Students were instructed during their English classes how to check out books virtually. Friday will be the delivery day, and Brenneman plans to be in the library.
We have the perfect setup, and we’ve been granted a running start. We simply have to keep pushing.
For more information about the impact of school librarians, visit PA School Library Project.
Journalism Adviser, Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School