updated: 6/28/2010 12:06:39 PM

Education Cuts Hit Librarians

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The Association for Indiana Media Educators is expressing concern over the impact eduction funding reductions is having on school librarians. The organization says more than 80 positions have been lost at school corporations throughout the state for the upcoming academic year.

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Source: Inside INdiana Business

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Press Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- Students across the state of Indiana will be returning to schools in August with part-time or absent certified school librarians (also called media specialist). School libraries have been hit especially hard as school districts look to find ways to deal with declining revenue from the state. Unfortunately, those who will suffer the most for the decisions made are Indiana students.

Over 80 school librarian positions (see accompanying list) have been lost for the 2010-2011 school year. Many of these school libraries will be staffed by an instructional assistant or clerical employee without library education or training. Some school libraries will have professional librarians for only a limited part of the school day, because those librarians will be supervising, training, and assisting the untrained staff placed in other schools in their district.

For years, the traditional role of a school librarian has been undergoing changes. School librarians are not only trained librarians, but also certified teachers. Their primary role is to help students learn how to find, evaluate, use, and create information. Groups such as the Partnership for 21st Century Skills site skills that are needed for students to be successful in the 21st century and identify critical skills that are necessary to be successful in the workforce. School librarians are the only teachers specifically trained to help students learn and apply these skills.

Studies show that students with access to well-funded school libraries with highly qualified, certified, school librarians perform better on tests and have higher scholastic achievement.** Because approximately 44 million elementary, middle, and high school students use a school library each week, spending for school libraries is one of the most important variables related to better student achievement.

Cassandra Barnett, president of the American Association of School Librarians writes, “In an era filled with tweets, YouTube videos and Facebook, how often have you heard from a student that ‘It’s true, I saw it online,’ or ‘I found the information via Google?’” She said that it's not enough for students to know how to read: too often students lack the ability to analyze the information found online and are left guessing what Web content can be trusted. Certified school librarians provide the crucial link between the library and students, teaching them how to evaluate and use information from both traditional and digital information: skills critical for success in a 21st century economy.”

Some school districts are beginning to look for other options. Monroe County Community School Corporation worked to find a way to reinstate the majority of the school librarians whose jobs they eliminated earlier this year. Students at one elementary school in that district wrote and performed a play about the negative impact on their school if they lost their school librarian.

Vicki Builta, President of the Association for Indiana Media Educators said, “Indiana students at every school deserve and need access to a school library staffed by a certified school librarian. The role of the school library program is a critical component in the educational development of lifelong learners.”



*Below is a list of positions eliminated for 2010-2011 based on self-reporting.

Anderson Community School Corporation
4 certified librarians


Batesville Community School Corporation
1 certified librarian

Beech Grove City Schools
1 certified librarian

Crawfordsville School Corporation
1 certified librarian

DeKalb Central School Corporation
2 certified librarians

Delaware Community School Corporation
1 certified librarian

East Noble School Corporation
1 certified librarian

Edinburgh Community School Corporation
1 certified librarian

Franklin Community School Corporation
1 certified librarian

Griffith Public Schools
1 certified librarian

John Glenn School Corporation
1 certified librarian

Middlebury Community Schools
1 certified librarian

Mill Creek School Corporation
1 certified librarian

MSD Decatur Township
3 certified librarians

MSD Franklin Township
2 certified librarians

MSD Lawrence Township
2 certified librarians

MSD Perry Township
7.5 certified librarians

MSD Warren Township
6 certified librarians

Mt. Vernon Community Schools
2 certified librarians

Noblesville Schools
4 certified librarians

Northwestern School Corporation
1 certified librarian

Plymouth Community School Corporation
1 certified librarian

Richmond Community Schools
4 certified librarians

South Bend Community School Corporation
5 certified librarians

South Harrison Community School Corporation
1 certified librarian

South Madison Schools
4 certified librarians

Southeast Fountain Schools
1 certified librarian

Southern Hancock
2 certified librarians

Tippecanoe School Corporation
19-21 certified librarians

Tipton Community School Corporation
1 certified librarian

Source: Association for Indiana Media Educators

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