Westminster Woods’ Library Advisory shows leadership at school
October 22, 2021
GUELPH, Ontario — Eighth grade students at Westminster Woods’ Public School are energetic about finding ways for all students to feel included and represented within their school with new Library Advisory Committee.
The Library Advisory Committee — alongside the Equity Club — decide how their library’s equity funding gets spent. The committee is also responsible for advising on events that get hosted in the library, the displays that are shown there and also make suggestions on what reading materials are bought. Each decision is made with their mission in mind: that all students feel included and represented.
Sara Furnival and Meghan Mintz, educators at Westminster Woods PS, noticed that previously, students were very active with what was going on in the library and decided to make the committee with a group of about 20 eighth graders.
“We want to bring it back to student voices. They want to be seen in the resources in classrooms, in the library and all over school,” said Mintz.
Furnival described that the students of the committees are actively engaged, “The students came up with the idea to go to classrooms and ask for requests for what they want to see in the library.”
Furnival also pointed out that the students themselves have been finding the gaps in what’s being provided in their library and speaking up about it. “We are going to focus on non-fiction texts because we are finding these are outdated and we want to bring more relevance and accuracy,” said Ben, one of the students in the committee.
Many of the students have found the committee and its work beneficial. “I am feeling included and that my voice is being heard. Now I can recommend books that reflect me, for example, my religion and culture,” said Mahdi, a committee member.
Furnival and Mintz are both excited about the engagement of the committee and are eager to see where they go next.