Wednesday, September 30, 2015

That book on your desk isn't for decoration

By: Madison Winters

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — The pages are starting to get a little dusty in the books owned by the 16-24 age demographic. The cobwebs on the cover symbolize a growing problem with the high school and college students of today. According to an article on The Chronicle Of Higher Education, the number of student who read for pleasure has taken a serious nose drive in recent years.
Kenzie Heffernan works at the information desk in Feinberg Library.
“I believe that student nowadays do not read for fun,” Heffernan said, “They are so consumed with their school work and reading textbooks.
Unlike a vast majority of her peers Heffernan, considers herself to be an avid reader.
“I like to read because it relaxes me,” she said, “And I fall asleep easier when reading instead of being on my phone or watching Netflix on a bright computer screen.”
Senior research librarian, Joshua Beatty, doesn't “see a lot of student's reading for fun.”
“I think that our 'browse section' which is mostly fiction, is browsed,” he said “But if students are reading for fun, they are doing it under the noses of the library”
Has the process of going to the library and checking out a book become a thing of the past?
Beatty thinks more students are readying on “Smart phones or Kindles, things that we wouldn't see”
Like Heffernan, Beatty thinks that a student's busy schedule is to blame for a lack of reading.
“They just don't have a lot of free time,” he said, “School work, working part-time jobs, being involved in extracurricular activities, that takes time.
The reality is, students of today are taught that being involved with many different things is just what's expected of them. When applying to college it's good to have a list of extracurricular, it shows that you like to be involved. When applying to jobs after school it's better to have a list of clubs, organization and honor societies that you were involved with. Having the skill of time management looks good on any application.
Matthew Quilty, a sophomore business student, says his schedule “doesn't include time for reading anything outside of what's required for classes.”
Quilty, a member of the Plattsburgh State men's hockey team, considers his daily schedule to be “Very busy”
“I think that reading could be relaxing for some students, I probably would be for me,” he said, “I just have other things to do with my free time.”
Morgan Winters is a junior in high school.
“I definitely read for fun,” Winters said.
She thinks a student saying that they don’t have enough free time for reading is a “Lame excuse”.
“I'm a cheerleader, play soccer, take dance classes and maintain an overall average of 93,” she said, “If you want to do something, you will make the time for it.”
Winters says that although she doesn't read as much during the school year she still manages to finish a new book every month.
“You just have to be creative,” she said, “I read while I'm on the bus to games or if none of my friends are in my study-hall and I’ve finished my work.”
How would an educator feel about this problem?
“It fairly simple to pick out the 'readers' among my classes” Maryann Jones said.
Jones, a high school English teacher thinks that students who do not reading outside of class are missing out on “life experiences.”
“Book's allow us to take a little vacation when we really need one but just can't get away,” she said.
“How else can I experience the sights and sounds of china from my bedroom,” Jones said, “Television aren’t going to give you tiny details like a book can.”
She thinks that students use their schedules as excuses for a lot of things. “Everybody is busy, I have a job, a family and countless other things to do during my day” she said, “but I still lie in bed every night and read a book before falling asleep.
Jones thinks that if a student really wants to read, they will make the necessary effort.
“I will always encourage my students to pick up a book and start reading,” Jones said, “Even if they only read a page, that's a good start.”


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