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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Librarians

This article appeared in today's Times about librarians, their role in schools and how some districts are cutting back. I have never been in a school where there was less than a full-time librarian but I know some schools need the money and only have a half-time librarian. I wonder how prevalent that is in SPS.

One interesting fact I didn't know:

"Washington is one of the few states that doesn't fund school libraries; instead, they are supported by local levy dollars."

From the article:

"In the age of information overload, librarians say their skills at finding authoritative and accurate sources and helping students think critically about what they read are more important than ever. But some districts around the state, including Darrington and Granite Falls, have cut librarian positions to balance their budgets.

"The reality is that some districts and principals try to get test scores up by spending more time on test-taking and less time on open-ended projects, what we call discovery learning," said Marianne Hunter, president of the Washington Library Media Association and a high-school librarian in Lacey, Thurston County."

Also,

"Monroe officials say district libraries are crucial for teaching students research and critical-thinking skills. The district last year adopted an information-literacy curriculum called Big 6 developed by the University of Washington.

Under the program, librarians are trained on how to work with teachers and students to define a research question, gather relevant information, synthesize their findings and evaluate its accuracy and usefulness."

I remember saying this type of information on school tours at Whittier to let parents know that librarians' days of just helping students find a book are long gone. That second paragraph above is what I think is the goal of most librarians (that and fostering a love of reading).

1 comment:

WenG said...

I had no idea our libraries depended on levies. We've always had a FT librarian, both in Seattle and Northshore. I can't imagine a school without a librarian, especially now, when we're in the midst of information overload. In 10-20 years time, are we going to look back on the hyper focus on testing, and the funds siphoned off to support it, and cry at our folly?