With CCPL reopening, TLC members discuss losing love for reading

Avery Carlisle

For Tatum Siebert, member of the Teen Library Council (TLC) and senior, reading has been a big part of her life since she was young. However, she said throughout the years, she has felt herself grow away from this love to read and only recently recovered it. 

“I feel like my school workload was definitely increasing so I didn’t have as much time to focus on (reading) outside of school. I felt like I was already reading so much for homework and different assignments that reading more, even if it was just for fun, didn’t really sound as fun to me,” Siebert said. 

English teacher Mandy Richmond said she understands Siebert’s reasoning for growing away from reading. 

She said “Kids just don’t have time to read anymore. When they do have time, there are other distractions that there used to not be before. I hope the majority of it is just (caused by) time, but I also think that (teachers) tend to beat the love of reading out of kids in school because we don’t read for pleasure.”

Siebert said she has built her reading habits back up and distractions are declining in her life.

“I’ve definitely come around the other end, especially over the summer finding a lot of books that are just for enjoyment,” she said. “I find that it’s a lot more fulfilling of a replacement. Instead of just coming home and immediately going on my phone, picking up a book makes me feel so much better.”

Siebert said she is excited about the Carmel Clay Public Library (CCPL) re-opening on Oct. 1 because the library impacted her greatly as a young child and the two-year-long renovations have affected her life in many ways. 

“Before the library went into renovations, I would go there after school whether that was working on other projects with other people or studying for school,” she said. “I also loved going to just browse and I loved going to different events. When I was younger, I loved Paws to Read. It was where you could read books with service animals, like service dogs and it was so much fun.” 

Richmond said the renovations have also impacted her family’s attendance to a physical library, even though the library temporarily moved to the old Marsh store location. 

She said, “Especially in the summer, my daughter, my husband and I would all use the library like crazy. I mean, it’s sometimes a weekly go in, find books, do whatever. We just aren’t doing that as much. My husband is now reading exclusively online so he just reads on his tablet and borrows books, but my daughter and I still tried to check books out and it’s just different. I’ll be thrilled when it’s open again.”

Mindy Sim, member of TLC and senior, also said the renovations have affected her way of reading, just like Richmond’s husband, and has affected the way TLC runs. 

Sim said, “I definitely just don’t go to the library as often. I’ve switched to reading via my Kindle. I’ll get ebooks from the library instead of actually going… I’m just excited to have our TLC meetings back at the library. I know (the library) has expanded a lot so I’m excited for that.”

Mindy Sim reads an ebook on her laptop in the library. Sim said she has switched to reading ebooks since she doesn’t visit the library as often. (Aleni Fingerhut)

Unlike Sim, Siebert said she has found herself at the temporary library locations finding books that draw her in and she can relate to to keep her love for reading going. 

“My parents are big readers and so I’d gone to the library with them. I was like, ‘Well, since I’m already here, I might as well pick up a book.’ So then once I started searching the shelves, it’s over, like I had like five books in hand,” she said. “I had like picked up Queer Love in Color. (It) was amazing and is really amazing representation. It’s just so cool to see adults living queer lives and to know that there’s a future for me is really cool.”

When it comes to the renovations, Richmond, Siebert and Sim all said they hope the community takes advantage of the new, exciting features the CCPL will have to offer. 

Sim said, “I just hope people go and realize how valuable a source the library is. I think there’s so much more the library has to offer than just books.”

Siebert said, “Take advantage of the amazing resources that we have in Carmel, such as the Carmel Clay Public Library and the events that they have, we are extremely lucky. I would definitely go to events, meet people from the library, talk to the librarians and participate in your community because a community like this only comes once in a lifetime.”

Maddie Misterka