The library is a place where people can come to gain knowledge, study, connect with others, and read. Here at Penn, our library, found in the middle of our commons area, offers these tools and more.

Mrs. Armstrong, our librarian, said that “Libraries are important because they are the biggest and freest classroom in the school, resources are available for students to use at their own pacing and their own curiosity.”

When you step through the doors, you enter a relaxed and productive learning environment. The Penn library is home to study spaces, computer monitors, printers, and just about everything you could need for a project or research.

And, as the name implies, the library has a myriad of books. Sorted in 7 different general genres, there is something for everyone, as the saying goes. But unfortunately, this selection of books seems to be collecting more dust than usual. The general trend toward reading is declining, as 39% of high school students or younger did not read a book in the past year, according to Pew Research Center. While this statistic may seem alarming, the trend of not reading is prevalent here at Penn.

One student in particular exclaimed that “No” when asked if he likes to read. He went to exclaim that “No” when asked if he wanted to read more.

The decline in reading is concerning. Without reading, the younger generation is depriving themselves of many valuable skills that go beyond the classroom.

AP Literature teacher Mr. Coffee said “[Reading] is important because it teaches us empathy. It teaches these things about ourselves and people that we could not have possibly imagined.”

However, there may be hope as we found that many students who don’t read still have an interest in books.

Another student explained that “I see how well [my friends who read] do comprehending things, and it would be nice to read more.”

Although students may be reading less and reluctant to try, society is not doomed. Younger people are still wanting to read for the benefits it gives, and teachers are urging students to find books they enjoy.

According to Mrs. Major, the solution to the problem of decreased reading is “Going to the library and reading different genres to find out what interests you and what you enjoy reading, because everyone enjoys reading different things.”

The importance of reading is clear. Books teach us empathy, and give us knowledge in a completely unique way. And the Penn High School library is the perfect place to start your reading expenditure. The end.

To see the full package: check out Show #20 here: