When looking around the San Marin campus, one can easily spot students scrolling mindlessly through their phones or listening to music, but a more rare and astonishing sight would be to see someone reading a book, free of technology but wholly entertained. Students often view reading as a chore, instead of an important break from the digital vortex of modern day entertainment.
English teacher Madeline Panacci thinks that the lack of ambition when it comes to reading is ubiquitous.
“We all have become so inundated with screen time that we just collectively lose a sense of reading endurance,” Panacci said.
Junior and avid reader Anais Ewing attributes the popular distaste for reading instead to a lack of inspiration from school and students simply not reading the right material for themselves.
“School has sucked the life out of learning…you adopt the idea that reading is a struggle, but when you read a book you actually like it a lot better,” Ewing said.
Ewing confessed that along with other students she has not given the library a chance.
“I don’t really go in there because I already just assume that they wouldn’t have anything I would like,” Ewing said.
Due to the lack of on-campus readers, the school library is receiving fewer users. According to the school librarian Kimberly Fuller, students check books out, “not as much as they used to.”
Fuller thinks this decrease is due to an absence of backing from teachers; she shared that English teachers used to have students come in and check out independent reading books but the department has begun building their own selection since.
“I wish teachers would access it more, especially the English department…maybe letting groups of kids come up to peruse and possibly check books out,” Fuller said.
Panacci said that since she began teaching at San Marin in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown she has not been properly informed about the library or her ability to access it.
“My classes have not used the library…But I also feel like I almost didn’t know if I could…It does make me sad that there is this miscommunication between what the library does and how we can access it in cool, meaningful ways,” Pannaci said.
Panacci believes, “there has to be a larger reimagining of school,” and encourages students to read for their own benefit.
“It is a very relaxing way to spend time…reading not only garners empathy, but it also allows you to make text-to-world connections in a very powerful way,” she said.
Fuller has recently submitted an order for new books, and expects to be receiving them soon. Additionally, book donations can be made through the Library Gift Book Club (see form available on Parent Square). Donations will aid the library’s growth and allow for students to take exciting new literary adventures. Fuller encourages students to not only open a book as well as their minds.
“Reading is expanding your mind, expanding your horizons, doing and thinking about things that you don’t necessarily have the opportunity to do…all at your fingertips,” Fuller said.