By: Samira Ezzo- LRC Coordinator

What is a school without a library?

Have you ever been inside a bookshop that has no books? It’s like sitting around the fire and telling a tale about how once education existed amongst the human race. This is what it would be like if an educational establishment had no library, and that is what our Learning Resources Center (LRC) at Al-Hayat International School (HIS) represents.

As a person who wanders on random streets, especially in Beirut, new things would be unveiled including libraries, museums, and gardens. The local tourist glasses that I mostly always put on guide me to the hidden gems that our capital is full of, especially libraries. Maybe my passion for books calls the libraries out for me. People must differentiate between a bookshop and a library, see a library is a public space that every citizen has access to its material for free. Yes, you saw that clear, for free, waiting for you to be curious enough to visit it and dive for hours into its resources while a bookshop requires money. In my opinion, the presence of libraries in areas reflects the needs of the neighborhood it is located in, including a monthly newsletter, book readings, cultural events, a safe space for studying and research.

You are now invited to view the LRC as the school’s gem that is full of resources that the school community can always reach out for. The LRC is the library that facilitates the tools and resources for the students and employees to prosper educationally, professionally, personally, and intellectually.

School libraries are the haven where every student feels safe and welcome. It is their window into the past, present and future of mankind. When students come of their own free will to the LRC during their recess to read, or to offer voluntary community service, a lot of values are reinforced within their daily educational practices. A positive correlation between high-quality library programs and student achievement, especially with a well-trained library staff would result in life-long

learners. Students are surrounded with Fiction and Non-Fiction books that serve all ages and catch their attention, as well as wide variety exposure of electronic resources like iJana, Matefic, and Learning A to Z. Most of the books are reader friendly and of different themes. They cater to students of different interests and aspirations.

The LRC is not just beneficial for the students, but also teacher development and planning. A space that is filled with books and educational manipulatives, it serves as a place that welcomes teachers to plan, read, and regroup. A whole bilingual section is dedicated for the professional development of both faculty and staff. A wide selection of manipulatives serves in making learning journeys as inquiry-based as possible. When students experiment with visual aids and manipulatives, their learning process becomes easier and more fun.

As a book lover, it is my passion to provide the LRC with continuous new resources that feed the curiosity of learners. The daily duty of cataloging new books and resources bring me so much joy and happiness as I would be more than happy to stay hours and hours adding new books to our school library management system. In fact, the school community can always stay up to date with every single new resource added through the library management system accounts. In addition to the Bookflix bulletin board that is monthly updated to keep the school community excited on what titles would be featured on it so they check one of them out.

The LRC is the school’s gem and as contrary to others who would say that a library could be old-fashioned with only hard cover books, “Children want access to books. They want to spend time in a library perusing titles and discussing what they are reading.” (Constantino) Take your child, relatives, friends, and even your neighbor to your neighborhood library, take them to book readings, and make sure you are culturally active to spread the importance and existence of public spaces that most of us have zero clue about.

Works Cited

CONSTANTINO, REBECCA. The importance of school libraries. 16 August 2019. 10 March 2020.

Samira Ezzo: Lebanese University English Language and Literature graduate, walking tour guide, and a cultural enthusiast.