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The Milton Measure

Students Underutilize Library

by Trevor Hopkins on Friday, March 7th, 2014

Milton Academy’s Cox Library is an amazing resource available to Milton students that is sadly underutilized. The library serves as a great spot for students to get work done quietly during a free period, but the massive collection of 46,000 books remains virtually untouched, a result of sad but pervasive realities. Few students have the time to read for pleasure due to the heavy workload given to Milton students, and, if some students somehow find the time to read outside of school, they often resort to the easier choice: a Kindle or iPad.

Milton is known for its rigorous academic curriculum. Consequently, students spend much of their time completing school work. During the weekend, it is very difficult to find time to read, but throughout the school week, it is nearly impossible. After getting through a night’s homework, most Milton students would rather get some sleep than do some more reading.

The library has been turned into a center for completing homework, not for looking for books and reading. Overly demanding curricula have prompted students to use the library, a space with communal desks and computers, to try and get work done. Yet even getting work done in the library isn’t always possible. During popular free periods, the library is loud beyond reason, acting as a spot of social congregation as much as for focused study.

Even when students do check out books from the library, they almost always do so as a mandatory part of an assignment. By far the busiest time of the year for the library is history term paper season. At times, the library’s vast collection of thousands of volumes seems merely a device for the teachers rather than a tool for students to learn for themselves. Students still check out books, but not quite at the same rate as in years past.

Furthermore, with modern day technology like iPads, Kindles, and other e-readers, it has never been easier for someone to get their hands on a book. With the touch of a button, one can download a book or magazine in minutes. The ease of this technology almost renders the library useless for anything other than borrowing books, a feat you can even do on some e-readers. Personally, I would rather get my own virtual copy of a magazine or book than go to the library, which might not even have what I am looking for. Renewing a book can also be an unnecessary hassle; one can take his time reading electronic books without worrying about due dates.

Yes, the Cox Library is a great resource that is underutilized by students, but I believe that this fact is inevitable. There are much easier ways for people to obtain and read books these days, and, even if a student wanted a hard copy from the library, it is difficult to find the time to enjoy a book with Milton’s immense workload. The Cox Library will continue to be used mostly as a congregational study area, and its books will be primarily checked out for school-related purposes.

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Posted by Trevor Hopkins on Mar 7 2014. Filed under More Opinion, Opinion, Recent Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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