Thursday, October 24, 2013

How can we help?

I always thought I did a good job advocating my library program and making sure the library was the center of what the students were doing at school. I knew there was more I could do and I was ready to do it, but sadly I was not given the chance.

When it came down to a hard budget cut in my state, the position was reduced to have one person cover both the elementary and middle school library in our school. In an impromptu survey of school websites in the area it appears that is the case in many schools in my area, with some only having one teacher-librarian to cover all buildings and some cases even multiple districts. In my state school districts are only required to employ one teacher-librarian, which is a step up from when teacher-librarians were written out of the requirements in the late 90's.

As part of a class I am taking to finish up my reading endorsement, I have spent some time revisiting the 21 state studies that show the positive link between having a quality library program with a full time librarian and reading test scores. More information can be found on the Library Research Service page and my blog if you want specifics, but all 21 states that did the studies showed the positive effects that happen.

Looking at this information again made me even more excited about being a teacher-librarian again. So I got to work creating a Prezi (click on the word Prezi to see it) to share this importance with my former administration and anyone who would listen.

I was kindly thanked for my information, but informed the school was facing declining enrollment and tough budget decisions again, so now was not the time to be looking at adding positions back.

I am very grateful my information was looked at and the importance is known, but I want more. I want to help, so my question is now what? If the funding is not there, what can be done? How can we make sure our students get the most quality library program without money available? Any thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The librarian in search for some shelves,

Melissa K


  1. I am so sorry to hear this! Libraries are so important! I am wondering if setting up a program where people from the town come in and read with kids regularly (local businesses) it will help people in the town see the importance of the school library and they will be more likely to vote for the budget. I know this is something that would take time, but it was my first thought.

    Good luck!

  2. Common Core is actually working to librarians' advantage in my school, with the need for coordinated nonfiction and research projects. This is dreadfully common though. So far, my school has been okay for 12 years. Lost an assistant then, and can do okay without. Narrowly escaped having two middle schools a bit ago, but always live in fear. So sorry.