January 18, 2022

California: Review Finds Hundreds of L.A. School Libraries Without Staff, Shuttered

Note: We’ve updated this post with two additional stories including a new article from SLJ about the poor state of school libraries in California.

Staggering and just plain old sad. Why do school administrators place such a small (if any) amount of value of what librarians can do? Of course, this is not only a question in LA but many other places.

From Southern California Public Radio/KPCC:

Figures out this week show only half of L.A. Unified school libraries have even part-time staff and far fewer have a credentialed librarian.

In a district of 768 schools libraries, there are only 98 librarians to teach students how to find information, select a text or coordinate reading programs. Even adding library aides to the mix, 332 school libraries do not have staff.


[School board member Monica] Ratliff and school board president Richard Vladovic want to create a “modern libraries task force” to not just outline the current state of libraries and funding sources – but also to explore potential collaborations with outside organizations – such as the city library – and alternative ways to get high-need students access to library books.

Read the Complete Article

UPDATE: More on this story from Karyn Peterson at School Library Journal

UPDATE 2: It’s worth noting that yesterday LA’s School Board approved another $115 million to purchase more iPads.

Info tech is important but it can’t replace a librarian and all library resources.

See: L.A. school board moves forward with computer effort

The goal of the $1-billion effort is to provide a computer to every student, teacher and administrator in the nation’s second-largest school system.

Board members approved a $115-million proposal that removed entirely a cap on how many iPads the district could buy for standardized testing scheduled for the spring. But they insist the number will be well below the 67,500 tablets the district staff had recommended.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.