Community support for maintaining the Pulaski County Public Library Medaryville branch is growing. West Central Superintendent Don Street is writing a letter in support of the facility to the Pulaski County Public Library Board of Directors. He says the library is critical for students from Medaryville and White Post Township. He says libraries are extremely important to a child’s development.
“It just gets a child excited about education, about learning to be involved in programs and in learning.”
The Medaryville branch of the Pulaski County Public Library is slated to close at the end of the month. However the library board has promised to maintain free wireless Internet, which can be accessed from outside the building.
West Central offers one-to-one technology to students at all grade levels. Street says the Internet access at the library is important for the 17 percent of youngsters who do not have it at home.
“They would go to a public library to access the Internet. It’s just not practical for someone to stand outside during the winter months and connect to the Internet on their device. It’s important to be in a warmer and safer environment.”
Street says students in grades 4 through 12 have Google ChromeBooks, and 6th through 12th graders can take them home on a daily basis. Next semester 5th graders will also have that privilege. Street says students who don’t have Internet access can save their lessons to the notebook, work offline and submit them electronically when they have an Internet connection.
He adds the library could best serve the community by being open and accessible to students after school but concedes there are no easy answers.
“The library board has a tough decision to make. They have to do what’s best, and we as a school, we have to do what’s best as well. We just believe that a library’s important for the growth of our children. Reach out to the communities and the community members and see what they believe.”
The library board has cited declining use and increasing costs as reasons to close the Medaryville branch.