New Jersey Public Schools Cut Librarian Jobs As Budgets Get Tighter
From the Press of Atlantic City:
Last week, the state Board of Education recognized April as School Library Month in New Jersey, noting in a resolution that “it is both fitting and proper that special recognition be given to school library programs and the role of certified librarians in education.”
But throughout the state, there are fewer school librarians to recognize. As budgets get tighter and district officials look to reduce costs, more are eliminating or consolidating the position.
State education code, updated in 2014, requires that each school district provide library-media services under the direction of a certified school library media specialist. Arlen Kimmelman, president of the New Jersey Association of School Librarians, said the wording gives districts a lot of leeway to get around having a full-time librarian.
“The loophole is they can just have someone come in and set up a program, or review it, then let teachers do different parts of the job.” she said. “People think we just check out books. They don’t understand that the librarian is not just a book lady.”
The article mentions several school districts in New Jersey without a school librarian.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.