May 26, 2022

New York City: NYC School Librarians Hold Protest to Protect Jobs

UPDATED: More About The NYC School Librarian Story in an Article by School Library Journal’s, Karyn Peterson.

See: Educators, Parents Fight NYC Bid to Bypass State Mandate for School Librarians

New York City’s librarians, teachers, and parents are prepping for a major battle with the city’s Department of Education (DOE) on the heels of the DOE’s official request to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) last week that the city’s public schools be exempted from state minimum staffing requirements for certified school library media specialists. The DOE’s move follows years of quiet noncompliance with the state mandate, despite two petitions from the local teachers union to the State Commissioner of Education.

The article includes the full text of the request made by the NYC Dept. of Education to the New York State Department of Education.

From the WSJ:

New York City school librarians are fighting back.

A group of librarians and parents held a rally Wednesday morning to protest the city’s request for a waiver from state librarian staffing requirements.

Standing on the steps of Tweed Courthouse, the Department’s downtown Manhattan headquarters, librarians said they couldn’t just be replaced by a computer in a classroom.

“A lot of the kids – every librarian can tell you this – they all want to run to Google” said Karen Levy, who has worked for more than 20 years at Christopher Columbus High School. Librarians said they help students find better research databases and steer them toward reliable information.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: City Schools Are Quietly Using Fewer Librarians (via WSJ; 8/11/2013)

See Also: Pennsylvania: All Gone! Harrisburg School Library Staff Eliminated With Recent Layoffs (8/13/2013)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.