Disappearing school libraries

March 31, 2010

I received an email today via the IU SLIS listserv about the continuing struggle against school funding cuts in Monroe County. An independent group is planning a rally on 10 April to recruit volunteers to pass a funding referendum. I haven’t been able to find freely accessible news posts about the rally, but most of the information is reproduced on the Bloomington Moms Meetup Group. The proposed funding cuts would, among other things, eliminate all elementary and middle school librarian positions, leaving just one high school librarian.

And Monroe County is not alone. It’s happening in Connecticut, in New Jersey, in Arizona, and in California, too. In fact, all across the country, school library services and staff are being cut or professional librarians are being replaced with paraprofessionals. This Google Map (created by someone listed only as Shonda) shows “a nation without school librarians”–places where certified school librarian positions are to be eliminated or where librarians will have to work across multiple schools. If this is happening near you and it’s not represented on the map, be sure to update it. And stop by and tell Edi of Crazy Quilts what school libraries have meant to you.

But most importantly, be sure to tell your local government and school board why school libraries matter. Start with “Young Learners Need Librarians, Not Just Google” by Mark Moran for Forbes and Sara Scribner’s “Saving the Google Students” at the LA Times (thanks to Eilir for the links) and “Student Reading Skills Improve With Library Funding” by Jack Humphrey in the Indy Star. When funding gets tight, cuts are going to be made–but we can try to protect our schools and libraries for the demonstrable benefit they bring.

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3 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. What you can do for libra&hellip  |  April 12, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    […] recently wrote about the trouble Indiana libraries are facing due to property tax caps and the cuts school libraries are facing in Monroe County. But yesterday delivered stunning, devastating news about New Jersey libraries: they’re […]

  • 2. Librarified » What &hellip  |  April 17, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    […] recently wrote about the trouble Indiana libraries are facing due to property tax caps and the cuts school libraries are facing in Monroe County. But yesterday delivered stunning, devastating news about New Jersey libraries: they’re […]

  • 3. Librarified » Misce&hellip  |  June 8, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    […] wrote earlier about disappearing school libraries across the country and wanted to follow up with some good news: all fifteen media specialist […]

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