6 Ways Going to the Library Can Have a Positive Impact on Online School Students

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While physical libraries might seem old-fashioned or even obsolete to some of us living in today’s world, they’re still exceptionally valuable—and are a great place to go with online school students.

Here are the top six ways libraries can help online school students thrive: 

1. They Can “See” the World

Libraries are so much more than stacks of books; they’re interactive environments that invite discovery.

If your child is in elementary school, they’ll love your library’s children’s section, where they can browse through hundreds—if not thousands—of age-appropriate books with stories from all over the world. If your child is older, they’ll find shelves upon shelves filled with books about every topic imaginable, giving them the opportunity to wander and discover something new.

While online experiences can be educational, they tend to focus on specific topics a child or teacher chooses. A library gives your child the opportunity to stumble onto books or media they might have never seen otherwise. This kind of serendipity opens up new corners of the world and expands your child’s knowledge in wonderful ways.

2. They Can Explore Interests

The vast majority of Americans agree that libraries help give everyone the opportunity to succeed. But many don’t always see the value of libraries to their own lives. For K-12 students, libraries provide access to information on whatever topics fascinate them most. And since libraries carry a wide range of books on every topic, students can easily find a book that fits their reading level and interests.

For example, a kindergartner can likely find an illustrated book about different types of dinosaurs, while a high school student can find a college-level book that details the scientific research into dinosaur evolution or explores theories about the dinosaurs’ extinction. However broad or specific a child wants to go with a topic, a library can accommodate them—and often in a way that’s much harder to achieve with general Internet searches.

3. They Can Learn to Research

Libraries don’t just help online school students explore their interests, they give students a great resource for answering questions. Whether it’s a question a child is asking themselves or a question posed by a teacher, libraries likely have the answer.

As any educator will tell you, asking and answering questions is a vital part of the learning process. Not only does it build knowledge, it inspires curiosity, which is a key trait in those who achieve lifelong success. But the advantages of asking questions disappear if the answers students are getting are wrong. That’s why libraries are so important.

Librarians can help students find peer-reviewed resources and learn how to better identify books that contain accurate facts and meaningful expertise. That means when K-12 students use a public library to research, they know they are gaining real, applicable knowledge they can use well beyond high school graduation.

4. They Can Enjoy a Change of Scenery

One of the advantages of online school is that students can set up their learning space in a way that works best for them. But an occasional change of scenery can still be beneficial.

Libraries are a great alternative when online students want a different place to study or have a fun, rainy-day outing. Not only are libraries filled with information and learning opportunities but they’re also designed as quiet spaces with minimal distractions. That kind of environment can help students concentrate and even improve their study skills.

5. They Can Gather with Community

Research shows that public libraries remain highly valuable to communities. One of the ways they provide that value is by hosting free community events, usually in a designated event space or on the exterior grounds of the library.

For online school students, these library events can be a great opportunity to socialize with other children their age. Younger students can gather for storybook hours, while older students can participate in book clubs, literary festivals, movie nights, and more.

6. They—and You—Pay Nothing

The fact that public libraries are entirely free to use makes them all the more valuable. Instead of having to buy books, pay fees for online databases, and subscribe to academic journals, students can access a huge amount of information without having to spend a penny.

This makes public libraries a great complement to a tuition-free online public school. Like Connections Academy, public libraries give your child the resources they need to learn and grow.

To find out more about the resources and study habits that can help your child learn, take a look at our article providing 5 study tips that make tough subjects easier to learn.

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