Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Education column: Despite technology, libraries here to stay

There are some who think that with the growth of technology’s influence libraries will disappear. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Remember when video tapes entered the arena, and the same was said about movie theaters; people still go to the movies, however.

Not only are libraries here to stay, the role of the library is continually expanding.

Librarians are embracing a variety of technologies as additional resources to be offered. Collections of electronic books are increasing; the wooden drawers containing card catalogues are now computers or mobile devices linked to library databases. Inventory controls have been vastly improved with electronic scanners.

Our Clovis Schools’ libraries are no different; all of our libraries — from elementary through secondary levels — are bustling hubs of learning. Book circulation has increased due to the ease of checking books in and out using technology. All of our secondary librarians are not only certified teachers; they all have master’s degrees as well. In addition to the demanding library duties, some also teach digital storytelling classes.

All librarians work with students, teaching them how to do research using reference materials as well as electronic resources. They teach students about today’s complex copyright laws and how to be good, safe digital citizens. Many of our librarians sponsor additional extracurricular activities, such as book clubs.

One unique library activity is the “Writers’ Circle” at the Clovis High School Library. Conceived by CHS Librarian Jenny Blaylock, various authors have been invited to CHS, the most recent being award-winning author Darynda Jones, as the Writers’ Circle guest. A resident of Portales, Jones formerly taught in the Portales schools, going on to write, full-time, a host of young adult books, also authoring the New York Times bestselling Charley Davidson series, paranormal romantic thrillers, laced with humor.

Blaylock’s Writers’ Circle was held in the library before school in the reference room of the library and offered refreshments. An early, before-school event of voluntary attendance might suggest sketchy attendance, but not so at CHS. The turnout was good and the conversation, lively.

Author Jones was personable and down-to-earth, welcoming students’ questions and discussion. Clearly gifted at establishing good rapport, Jones freely chatted with students about her writing as well as theirs.

It was fascinating to see students so responsive, readily opening up and talking freely about their writing and their dreams.

Jones’ conversation was light and humorous and offered useful advice; for example: “Someone mentioned once: if you write one page a day, in a year you will have written a novel!”

Thanks to all of our librarians for all they do and especially to Blaylock for creating this rich opportunity for those aspiring student writers. Thanks to Jones as well for time well spent nurturing students.

Two quotes spring to mind: Paulo Coelho said, “Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things — thoughts, ideas, opinions.”

Benjamin Franklin pointedly offered: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.”

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the instructional technology coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at:

[email protected]