Across Texas, the number of certified school librarians like Burgert has dropped 10 percent since 2009, in part because of limited budgets and the growth of digital books. The decline has been particularly sharp in HISD.
Certified school librarians in Texas must complete a teacher-training program with a library specialty, pass an exam, teach for two years and have a master’s degree.
Roughly 60 percent of HISD schools do not have certified librarians this year, according to district data. Some have teachers, lower-paid clerks or instructional aides working in the library. Some have closed their libraries.
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