Removable Libary Passes

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The Leesville Road High School media center. During periods of free time, some students can be seen studying for their classes or accessing school computers. (Photo courtesy of Chris Pharr)

During lunch, students have always needed to have a “Library Pass” to enter the school’s media center. 

The most commonly used form of library pass is a one-day pass and requires a teacher signature to enter the library during lunch, and without the specific pass, students are not granted entry. This adds an unnecessary restriction to students’ access to a readily available resource of knowledge and leaves the library underutilized.

For students, a school library should act as a place they can easily go if they want to learn, need to access school resources, or even just having a quiet place to relax or study for a while. However, the extra step of requiring a pass acts as an unnecessary boundary.

The main form of getting a library pass requires that students request one from one of their current teachers, usually the teacher they have before lunch. This pass must be signed by the teacher and is not reusable. This restriction is an unnecessary hurdle that prevents students from the library.  

Some students farther away from the library may not have enough time to access a pass from their teacher and make it to the library with enough time to use the library, or some students may have had a sub for that period, who may not write them a pass. Simply, some students may not feel comfortable asking their teacher. Students should be able to enter the library easily.

Besides the one-time use pass, the library does offer a semester pass.This pass requires a lengthy application, teacher recommendations and constant library use. This also adds unnecessary restraints onto the library experience. 

On the other hand, Leesville’s librarians believe the pass system is a necessary system for the library. “We [want] to verify that a student has a purpose for being here,” said Mrs. Fields, Media Specialist. “We’re working really hard on protecting the space as a sort of a quiet workspace.”

The library has so many great resources for students to access: desktops, printers, textbooks and regular reading materials, but they go to waste if not enough students are there to use it. Free access to the library would encourage many more students to use the library, both promoting reading and using school resources in a worthwhile way.

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