Beautiful New Brooklyn School Library, With No Librarian

From the NYTimes: The shelves were stocked with books. The maple benches were grouped like shin-high honeycombs across the beeswax-colored floor. The Book Hive at P.S. 9 and M.S. 571’s joint facility on Underhill Avenue seemed to have everything. Everything, that is, except a librarian.

After years of planning, The Book Hive opened on Nov. 12, only to promptly shut its doors. The library, which services two Prospect Heights schools sharing the same building, will remain inactive until the schools hire a librarian, a daunting task in the age of slashed budgets and shared services.

“That’s what is so surprising about this whole thing,” said parent Karen Fein, 42. “I mean they were willing to get a half a million dollars to construct this library and outfit it beautifully, and now we don’t have a librarian.”

The Book Hive was constructed with $500,000 in city funding obtained through the offices of Borough President Marty Markowitz and Councilwoman Letitia James. The staff went to work, converting a neglected temporary classroom back into a library.


Who stocked the shelves with books, who was hosting the launch, who was the woman reading to the child in the photo?

If they have no library staff then who developed things like the collection development policy?
There must be staff somewhere in the school system maybe? who could be holding the fort.
Someone has already been working on it, why not have them continue for now?

How ridiculous to spend half a million dollars with no way to open the facility! Perhaps they should have spent a little less and hired a professional librarian to run the library. You would think they would have thought about that first.

This is typical of the way schools seem to function in this country. Study after study shows the value of a good school library program staffed by certified librarians but many school districts consider librarians support staff despite the fact that you need a Masters degree to become a librarian. Support staff are often the first to go or not/under funded. Very sad but not surprising really. It's easy to get funding to build buildings and buy books but no one wants to pay for staff.

That is just like where I used to work as the Children's Librarian at The Madison Heights, Michigan Public Library. I was laid off and now there is a Children's Room with NO Children's Librarian!!! Of course there is money for new computers, more DVD's and comp. time for supervisors..but they "can't" find the money anymore for a Children's Librarian.

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