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Firing the Librarians in Humble ISD

I am a middle school librarian in Humble ISD (Humble, Texas) who taught English for many years. This district is seriously considering firing all of its librarians. (See news article: http://www.click2houston.com/education/16488867/detail.html ). Is there any advocacy ALA can provide? Jordan Sonnenblick, young adult novelist and national spokesman for Authors Support Intellectual Freedom, has helped tremendously by emailing listservs, as well as our board and our local media. I have included all the email addresses for our board members as well as the local media below. Is there anything ALA can do to help us save our jobs?

Thank you for your help,

Kristen Gladden, MFA, MLS
Librarian
Ross Sterling Middle School
1131 Wilson Road
Humble, Texas 77338
(281) 641-6006
"What we dwell on is who we become."~Oprah Winfrey

Superintendent:

[email protected]

Board Members:

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected] (Bonnie Longnion)

[email protected]

[email protected]

Robert Scarfo (newly elected--email is a form) http://www.robertscarfo.com/contactme.php

Local News stations

NBC affiliate: Click2Houston [email protected] or the contact page at http://www.click2houston.com/contact/index.html

CBS affiliate: 11 News Defenders [email protected] and [email protected] or the contact page at http://www.khou.com/defenders/

ABC affiliate only had a contact page: http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/feature?section=resources/inside_station/station_info&id=5763621

Fox affiliate: [email protected] or the contact page at http://www.myfoxhouston.com/myfox/pages/InsideFox/Persons?pageId=5.3

Comments

I work in a very volatile manufacturing industry. I know we may be different from a school, but one thing my company finally figured out was that across the board cuts (i.e. of entire departments) is a bad mistake. If you have to trim budgets, fine, but lay off based on seniority, or cull positions from several places. This article is pretty depressing, but I can't say I'm that surprised. Librarians are the first ones to go, usually. It's really sad. :(

In higher ed in Texas, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board requires a degreed librarian for providing library services. Wouldn't the TEA or state board of education do the same thing for ISDs? That might be another good contact: TEA http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/

Here is a link to a list of studies that show the importance of school library media specialists and their role in student success. If I were you, I would share these with everyone you can in Texas. Good luck!

http://www.acrl.org/ala/aasl/aaslproftools/resourceguides/studentachievement.cfm

My school district in Michigan made drastic cuts this time last year due to budget issues. While we didn't loose the library program entirely, we went from 3 librarians and 6 media secretaries to 1 librarian (me) and 2.5 media secretaries (I say .5 because the middle school "shares" a secretary with the main office). Our district administrators know the impact the school libraries have on learning...but it didn't seem to matter what we presented to them. Either way...I hope you have more luck.

Here's an article from Scholastic called "School Libraries Work."

http://librarypublishing.scholastic.com/content/stores/LibraryStore/pages/images/SLW3.pdf

This does not surprise me about Humble. I have worked with them for over three years providing profession moving service, under thier Bond renovation program. I have worked with several large school districts but have never had the cooperation issues i have had with Humble and Kingwood High. My first experience is that they should hire a move consultant or project manager to work with construction
and the move team. Thier building facilities person is not qualified for that larg scale move. and to keep projective figures and change orders on track. When addition capital was spent it was due to the lack of planning by principles and building facility personel.