What are the five roles that the school library contributes to the well-being of students?
survey by the National Institutes of Health, one in five young people in the world may be experiencing mental health problems. In particular, the global epidemic of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in 2020 has significantly changed lifestyle habits, and the mental health problems of students are becoming more serious. Meanwhile, Margaret Christine Melga, a senior lecturer at Edith Cowan University's Faculty of Education, explains the five roles that the school library plays for student well-being .
According to a
A place to get away from it all: 5 ways school libraries support student well-being
◆ 1: Providing a safe place
In recent years, school libraries are expected to serve a variety of purposes, such as conference venues and storage for sporting goods. And the school library can be used not only as a versatile space, but also as a 'shelter for troubled students,' Melga said.
survey , students were good at searching for information on the Internet, but not enough to assess the reliability of the information obtained. Melga argues that students need to improve their health literacy, especially as many hoaxes are available on the Internet for COVID-19.
Creating a positive, safe and supportive school environment helps meet the academic, emotional and social needs of students. 'The school library works well as a shelter for students who are victims of bullying or who are struggling with the school environment,' Melga said.
◆ 2: Improve your health literacy skills
Health literacy is the ability to properly search for and evaluate health information and make effective use of it. However, according to a 2017
Studies have also shown that school libraries improve mental health literacy not only for students but also for the surrounding area.
School librarians and library staff are specialists in processing information, and supporting information processing for faculty and students is also part of their job. 'The school library helps build student health literacy skills and assess online health information,' Melga said.
◆ 3: Providing resources for well-being
The school library is a facility that provides students with various worries with resources to understand 'what they are worried about' and 'how to get help'. Library librarians work with school teachers and counselors to collect, organize, and share resources such as books and magazines to ensure that students have access to up-to-date, quality information. This ensures that students have information in the library that will improve well-being.
◆ 4: Support reading habits
There is a link between children's literacy and well-being, and it has been reported that reading is important for achieving higher levels of mental well-being. A 2019 survey also found that visiting the library motivates students to read.
Bibliotherapy ', which attempts to solve the mental problems of students by reading books and touching stories, is also being considered. It is said that it is. Being able to provide books that address the problems students have is an advantage of librarians who have a lot of knowledge about books.
However, students are busy with curriculum such as classes and club activities, and even if the school has a good library, they do not always visit regularly. 'The school must ensure that students have access to the library,' Melga argued.
◆ 5: Encourage mental health care by reading
In addition, it has been pointed out in recent years that the content of the reading experience improves the mental health of students, and '
'School libraries are expensive to maintain and labor, which often leads to budget cuts in school management,' Melga said. 'The staff needed for school libraries. Without materials and materials, we may not be able to help improve student well-being. How school libraries and staff contribute to student well-being to maximize the use of valuable resources. We need to better understand what it is. '
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