With the help of a $20,000 grant, Lincolnton High School hopes to update its media center in a way that serves the schoolâ€™s diverse student population.
â€œIf you have modernized things for them, theyâ€™ll check it out,â€ said Cale Sain, a vice principal at the school. â€œIf we want to entice them to read, we need to put something in thatâ€™s applicable to them in real life.â€
The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant was awarded by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.
It will provide funds for books on science, history and religion as well as reference books and literature.
Kathy Wease, LHS media coordinator, believes her book collection is long overdue for an overhaul.
â€œWe needed it desperately,â€ said Wease. â€œThe average age of our book collection, shamefully, is 1979, and itâ€™s due to no fault of anyoneâ€™s other than the money is not there.â€
The new grant will provide the library with around 435 new books, which will bring the average book date up to the mid â€˜90s.
Many of the new volumes will be expensive reference texts. Wease plans on ordering encyclopedias in Spanish to better serve the schools growing Spanish speaking population. She also hopes to bring in Spanish translations of classics taught in the schoolâ€™s English classes.
Wease believes Spanish-speaking students who read texts in their native language will perform better on both standardized tests and classroom work.
â€œI know our goal as educators is to try to help them acclimate to our culture, but we also have to help them acclimate at a speed that they can,â€ said Wease.
Teachers have already started informing Wease of the books they feel would best serve their students. Around half of the grantâ€™s $20,000 will go to reference volumes.
Wease is waiting for state documentation before she can begin ordering the books. She hopes to begin sometime this week.
The grant is one of 153 LSTA grants awarded to North Carolina libraries. A total of over $4 million has been rewarded throughout the state.
Wease is looking forward to the grant providing her and her students with a book collection that doesnâ€™t date back to the late â€˜70s.
â€œTwenty-five years ago Lincolnton High School was a completely different high school than we are now,â€ said Wease. by Sarah Grano