The State of School Libraries

I remember the first time I visited my school library and was told by the librarian “This isn’t a library.”

“What is it, then?” I thought, as I looked around at the bookshelves fully stocked with books and a world of imagination and information.

“It’s a media center.”

At first, I had no idea what that meant. But as I got older and took on more research projects, I learned the true meaning of “media center” and came to appreciate it. The days we were given to do research in the media center were so fun, not only because it meant less lecturing, but  because we learned how to use all these programs I’d never heard of before — like LexisNexis, a large database of public records and information. Not to mention, the librarians — or rather, media center specialists — usually pulled for us the materials we would need.

But as school budgets are slashed and more teachers find themselves unemployed, school libraries and media centers face major cuts — no new books, no full-time staffing, no additional programming. I thought art education cuts were bad enough. Now this?

According to this essay by The Huffington Post, a group made a petition to fight education cuts that would force schools to be without fully operational media centers.

As a lover of learning and the daughter of a high school family and consumer science teacher, I’ll be the first to say how important it is to make sure our schools continue to get sufficient funding, no matter what kind of budget crisis our country faces. Children deserve it.

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1 Comment

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One response to “The State of School Libraries

  1. Sandra Buto

    I just read that California no longer had the $ to fund the public libraries. The funds allocated to them has gone down gradually over the years and this year is it $0. I wonder if they will all have to close or if they will find some wealthy private doners to keep them going.

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