Archive for June, 2010

Standing Strong for School Librarians

It’s been a devastating year for libraries. I’ve been watching the school library situation very closely, reading stories almost daily about the losses to students across the country and the globe.

Perhaps the best illustration of these losses is the Google Map A Nation of School Librarians, which presents a powerful visual representation of what libraries are facing.

Yesterday, after I read about the Natomas Unified School District cuts in California, I was talking on twitter with Carolyn Foote, Diane Cordell, Buffy Hamilton, Donna Bills, Julie Murray and others about the losses. We were struck, though, by the story of Sacramento City Unified School District, buried deep in the article. Instead of losses, this district is planning to expand funding to libraries.

“One district bucking the trend is Sacramento City Unified. The district is keeping libraries open and even increasing funding for middle school libraries next year.

“I’m proud of our superintendent and his vision,” said Martha Rowland, district coordinator of library services. “I don’t know how that vision will be funded, but he has the right idea – that libraries are important to kids.”

Carolyn mentioned the importance of pointing out these examples of districts that are expanding their libraries during this time of dwindling funds.  I made a companion to the Google Map, to showcase places where libraries have been defended and expanded.  We may not get as many pins as quickly, but over time I hope this map can inspire school librarians as the tide turns back toward access to librarians and libraries for all!

Please add your stories of success.


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