By Laurie Stone
A well-stocked library can be a cornerstone for students which opens a door of opportunity for a growing mind as their interests and education develops.
Thanks to the general obligation bond issue that was passed in Nov. 2002, Billy Dixon, the Portales Junior High librarian, puchased $20,000 dollars worth of new books.
“As soon as I heard the bond issue passed, I began compiling a list of books the students and teachers needed and wanted in their library,” said Dixon. “I wanted to have books that children enjoy and books that would help teachers make their classroom more interesting.”
Dixon explained that most of the library’s money came from the bond issue, $6,000 came from her regular budget, and $5,000 came from the Title I program.
Some of the new additions to the PJHS library include biographies, encyclopedias, books written in Spanish, scientific books, fiction and non-fiction books and numerous books on authors like Gary Paulson, C.S. Lewis, Louis Wilken and June B. Lewis.
Before the bond issue passed, Dixon said the library housed about 10,000 books but had to free up shelf space by removing 2,000 books that were outdated, mostly being science and geography books.
Some books were donated to the Portales Detention Center, the Roosevelt County Literacy Program, teachers and students.
“Its important to change out books because reading styles change just like clothing styles change,” Dixon said. “Kids learn to read by reading and the more interesting their choices are, the more apt they are to read.”
Kristy Collins is a library aid at PJHS and said that she likes having a library that has updated books because students can turn in reports that are up to date.
According to the Scholastic library Web site, A school library can be a powerful force in the lives of America’s children and can have a positive impact on student achievement.
“Some of our kids live in rough times,” said Dixon. “The characters in a book are usually put in tough situations and have to work out the resolution. Many kids in today’s society have to face some of these exact situations. The life lessons in a book can show a student how to resolve an issue in their life enabling them to survive,” she explained.
Research, from the scholastic library website, also shows that schools having a good library media center promotes, inspires and guides students toward a love of reading and a quest for knowledge. It also produces kids that score higher on their testing.