Reading is more than leisure
STEM — which stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — subjects are often touted as the most important aspects of education. And so, it was surprising when Dex Torricke-Barton, a media consultant and former speechwriter for the CEOs of Facebook and Google, recently shared a different perspective:
“Stop telling kids to learn to code. AI will take the coding jobs faster than you can think. Teach kids to think, to create, to use tech well, to think critically about ethics, values and institutions. They’ll be amazing engineers or whatever else they want to be.”
While artificial intelligence might take many, many years to be able to code — perhaps even generations — TorrickeBarton makes an excellent point. While STEM education is undeniably important, it’s still crucial to provide a well-rounded, balanced education, and to remember that reading is far more than a leisure activity. Research has shown that reading sets the stage for empathy, creativity and critical thinking.
Read to your kids — let them love stories and reading. Teach them to learn independently, to think critically about the world, to learn and explore. These skills, though they may be harder to quantify than something like math, remain important even as technology continues to develop and change the world we live in.
The library is a place where anyone can learn and explore. Unlike a classroom, there’s no set reading list, no assignments and no final exams. There is open ended learning, and you can approach that learning any way you want: read a book, use our online databases or attend a program.
Library programs, such as story time, Tween Club and Stuffie Sleepover, stimulate children’s imaginations. They encourage critical thinking, creativity, and help kids develop new social skills. They expose children to stories, and provide an unstructured way to learn that is wholly different than the way many children are expected to learn at school.
And age is no reason to stop learning — we have lots of opportunities for adults to try new things, learn a new skill or leave their comfort zone. We have classes that teach how to use computers, crafts for adults, educational talks and more coming all the time.
Technology is important, but so is reading. Keep reading, and keep learning.
The library is here to help — for book recommendations, digital resources and exciting programs. Visit our website, www.fepl.ca, or stop in to pick up a newsletter to see all the ways the library can help you learn.