School Libraries

School Libraries Are Under Attack

Yet, until now, federal education policy and legislation have neglected to support the role of school librarians. That needs to change. We need a national agenda and our elected officials to take a stand and ensure equity of library services and certified school librarians to teach the next generation to find and apply information to solve problems, think critically, and develop innovations.

From School Libraries Are Under Attack | The New Republic

Gay-themed children's book challenged in North Carolina school

One grandparent, Lisa Baptist, said the book is inappropriate for young students. "I've been called a racist. I’ve been called a bigot, and I am none of those things," she said. "This is nothing more than bringing homosexuality into a school where it does not belong."

From Gay-themed children's book challenged in North Carolina school - LA Times

Librarians Without Borders Heads to Guatemala for Fifth Consecutive Year

Since 2009 Librarians Without Borders (LWB) has partnered with the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy to support the Academy’s vision of building a sustainable library for the school and its community. This year marks not only the 10th anniversary of LWB, but it is also the fifth anniversary of their annual service trip to Guatemala.

Teens escorted out of Capitol while protesting budget cuts to Mo. libraries

According to teen services librarian, Wick Thomas, everything went well until the teens got to Governor Nixon’s office.

The students were escorted out of the Capitol by security after the Governor’s press secretary said he was unaware that the group had an appointment.

The teens had previously met with other lawmakers and said they only had issues when trying to meet with Governor Nixon.

From Teens escorted out of Capitol while protesting budget cuts to Mo. libraries | fox4kc.com

Number of Libraries Dwindle in N.Y.C. Schools - Education Week

Despite the lack of book-related activity, Hillcrest is one of fewer and fewer schools in New York City that both have a school library and enough librarians to staff it. In a nation where traditional school libraries are shrinking in number or morphing into computer labs or digital media centers, the declines in library services in New York City's public schools are more precipitous than most, experts say.
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/03/18/number-of-libraries-dwindle-in-nyc-schools.html

Charter schools less likely to have libraries

Charter schools are far less likely than traditional schools to have libraries or librarians, surveys show.

During the 2011–12 school year, 49 percent of public charter schools reported having a library media center compared to 93 percent of traditional public schools in the United States, according to a survey by the National Center on Education Statistics.

From Charter schools less likely to have libraries - The Washington Post

Unequal shelves in D.C. school libraries benefit wealthier students

Reading and literacy are high priorities for the urban school district, as proficiency rates for its poorest students dwell below the averages for major cities. But the District dedicates no annual funding for school-library collections, instead relying on the largesse of parents or the kindness of strangers to stock its shelves through donations.

As a result, an unequal system has developed.

From Unequal shelves in D.C. school libraries benefit wealthier students - The Washington Post

LAUSD reopening libraries after recession closings

More than 200 Los Angeles Unified School District elementary school libraries have reopened in just two months, according to district officials.

Recession-era budget cuts had left many libraries without staffing. The cuts persisted even when the economy began to improve: a year ago half of the district's 650,000 students were still without a librarian or library aide

From LAUSD reopening libraries after recession closings | 89.3 KPCC

Philadelphia's Librarian Dilemma - Pacific Standard

Philadelphia—a city whose school system ranks among the nation's worst—has a major reading problem on its hands. On Sunday, Philadelphia Inquirer's Kristen Graham reported that the city’s school librarian population has dropped by an astonishing 94 percent since 1991. Twenty-four years ago, there were 176 certified librarians throughout the city’s 218 schools—there are now 11. This comes on the heels of the city's 2013 closure of its top schools’ libraries—victims to an unmerciful budget crisis.

From Philadelphia's Librarian Dilemma - Pacific Standard

School Librarians, a Disappearing Breed in Philadelphia

Philly.com reports:

When Laureal Robinson became Spring Garden's principal five years ago, she had a goal in mind: to reopen the school library with a certified librarian.

"We had to adopt a back-to-basics approach," Robinson said. "We had to make it as easy as possible for children to get books in their hands."

Spring Garden's budget is just as tight as every other school's in the Philadelphia School District - it has no full-time counselor or nurse - but Robinson made reopening a library a priority. For five years she planned, using community partnerships to bring in books. In September, she hired a three-day-a-week librarian.

"Having a librarian," the principal said, "just helps to support what's going on in the classroom, with teachers. I just felt like it was a necessity. It would be remiss not to have a library."

Robinson is bucking a trend. In 1991, there were 176 certified librarians in city schools. Now there are 11 - for 218 schools.

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