Library hosts activities to encourage student reading


IN THE WORK ZONE As she works on an assignment, Syrah Omar, 12, uses the library as a space to focus on Tuesday, April 25. Photo by Vi Reed, 9

To help encourage students’ use of the library and promote conversations about various books, librarian Mylie James hosts a March Madness book bracket where students could vote on their favorite books.

According to Time Magazine, a third of high school seniors haven’t read a book or e-book for pleasure in a year, almost three times as many students who said the same thing in the 1970s. Seniors also said that they use digital media, such as texting and social media, for about six hours per day. Academic principal Mika Tepfer said that reading is important and needs to be encouraged.

“Reading is everything,” Tepfer said. “It’s how to fill out an application correctly. I’ve never not gotten a job, and it’s mainly because I know how to fill out an application.” 

Not only does reading help people in real life, but James also said reading can have beneficial effects on society. 

“Reading in general just heightens your intelligence,” James said. “And more intelligent people create a better society.” 

Even though Tepfer and James agree, freshman Zachary Helms said he doesn’t share the same point of view, saying that reading isn’t important. 

“I think knowing how to read is important,” Helms said. “But I don’t think reading a book for fun is important. If you don’t like reading for fun, it’s not that important. There are so many other things you can do and still have fun.” 

Tepfer said that studies have shown that from when kids are born to pre-k if they weren’t read too much, they are significantly behind in school. This shows that even before kids know how to read, it is important that they are introduced to reading at a young age. 

“Vocabulary, and understanding what the context is meaning is so important,” Tepfer said. “Especially when you get older, and you need to understand what people are meaning.” 

However, freshman Nivik Solis doesn’t think that the benefits of reading go that far and that reading could actually be unhealthy if done too much. 

“If [people] spent all their days sticking their nose in a book that was about fake fantasy stuff,” Solis said. “Then they might [forget] what was real and what was fake.”  

James said that of the 3,941 book checkouts in the library this school year, which is more than one book per student, around 3,000 were fiction, but teens don’t have enough time to read for fun.

“There’s more expectations of [teens’] time than there used to be,” James said. “When you’re having to do more schoolwork you have less time to just leisure read.”