D51 Middle School Receives Recognition
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- The Colorado Department of Education has recognized 14 school libraries throughout Colorado for being highly effective, and East Middle School in Grand Junction was one of them. "Libraries are really the center for 21st century learning," said Becky Johnson, endorsed librarian at East Middle School. Johnson says they received the recognition because of the new technology the library has received. "We have just recently purchased nooks and e-readers for kids. I've purchased more and more electronic kinds of resources for the library in the past five years. East Middle School library offers anything from books, to research classes and electronic devices. "We have 'wikis' for each subject area so that the teachers collaborate online and help me design units that kids can access from home, from school, and on their devices," said Johnson. Johnson says she sees around 200 students going in and out of the school's library daily. "We've got a pretty good nonfiction collection. More and more nonfiction is going to the database and e-book format," said Johnson. Johnson says she applied for the award to put a spotlight on libraries and hopefully decrease the cuts libraries in general are receiving. "My budget was cut by more than half. I don't have nearly the money I used to have to purchase books and electronic resources," said Johnson. Which brings up the question; could library books become a time of the past? "It could be. The one thing I would say is; library's and librarians aren't about books. They're about information, they're about free access to information and the free exchange of ideas in whatever format you find that," said Johnson.