Thursday, May 19, 2011

Defunding School Libraries will not Solve Economic Problems

Librarians are teachers. No matter what specialization they have, no matter whether they work in school, public, academic, or other specialized setting, their jobs entail helping others to find the information they need. It is increasingly disheartening to see libraries lose funding. When public libraries cut hours, or close branches, they are denying computer access to a person who needs to fill out a job application on line, and denying learning opportunities to all. When school libraries cut funding for trained librarians classroom teachers are left without collaborators on projects, and students are left with poor choices of materials for completing assignments. Underfunded libraries may also be ineligible for certains grants, which magnifies the problem. Additionally, recent studies have shown that students who go to schools with well funded libraries and full-time librarians score better on standardized tests, and get better grades. Skills, and love, for life-long learning are taught at the library.

The underfunding of libraries is a problem across the country. Read more from the National Education Association's article Checking Out; and American Libraries LAUSD doubts that seasoned teacher-librarians can teach.

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