The school library, the one period of the day or week when you didn’t have to worry about “work”, because being in the library doesn’t feel like “work” because you’re surrounded by books. School libraries full of books can instill a love of travel. They can teach about social injustice. You can learn about exciting people who live amazing lives.

And with statistics showing that children who struggle with literacy are four times more likely to drop out of high school[1], access to books at local school libraries become even more important. Fact or fiction, libraries fuel a young brain’s thirst for knowledge.

And here’s four more reasons you should support your local school library:

  1. Any library lover will tell you that digital will never overtake real books. There’s something about the feel and smell of a real book that just isn’t the same in digital form. The school library is where many children develop a lifetime love of reading.
  2. In this world of “fake news,” libraries take the charge. School librarians teach our children about copyright and fair use and they preach news literacy. Kids who can tell fact from fiction are more likely to succeed at life.
  3. Libraries are safe spaces for all. It doesn’t matter what your reading level is. You can always feel safe to ask whatever questions you have in a library. And it’s the school libraries who teach us how to find that knowledge.
  4. Libraries provide a level playing field. Can’t afford to buy your own books? You have a wealth of resources available for free! As Roald Dahl observed in Matilda:
  • “Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.” (Matilda, Roald Dahl)

I remember my school librarian encouraging me to take books from the “big kids” section. My love of my school library fuelled my own love of writing. And I encourage my own children to make use of the library because even though we do have extensive libraries in our home, they have much more selection at the school.

And that’s why it’s so important to have programs like the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation’s Adopt a School program (AAS).It is so unfortunate that many high needs elementary schools do not have enough funding for access to books. This incredibly important three-week campaign helps your local high-need school library to support children’s literacy with funding for books. This year, more than 500 schools are registered to participate from September 16 to October 8. Schools are participating in two ways:

  • Your local Indigo, Chapters or Coles store has “adopted” a school and is fundraising on their behalf. All of the funds raised (that’s right, 100%) in the store will be used to revitalize school libraries.

In addition to the “adoptees,” 350 additional participating schools will fundraise online through the Adopt-A-School website.

Wondering how you can help? Stop at your local Indigo, Chapters or Coles store and donate in the store. Don’t want to leave your computer? Donate online!

The best part? You don’t have to have money to participate. This year, the Love of Reading Foundation has introduced an Adopt a School Story Contest. Any Canadian resident can share a short story on the online profile of a participating school. People can “heart” the stories they love the best. In each province, the top five most loved stories will have the chance to win a top prize of a $2,500 eGiftcard to purchase new books or one of four $500 eGiftcards.

No matter how advanced technology gets – there’s always something about the act of physically holding a book in your hand. The texture. The smell. That’s why school libraries are the best. How do you support your local school library?

[1]  Hernandez, Donald J. “Double Jeopardy: How Third Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation.” Published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2012

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by our friends at Chapters Indigo Coles.