June 24, 2021

North Carolina: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Eliminates 17.5% of School Librarian Positions in Past Five Years

From The Charlotte Observer:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has been shedding school librarians faster than any district in North Carolina over the past five years, and there’s a debate going on about whether that makes a difference for students.

This year, 31 of the district’s 168 schools have libraries led by staffers other than media specialists, who have master’s degrees and specialized training to run libraries.

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Superintendent Ann Clark says that media specialists have “tremendous value” and that school libraries remain a vital part of each school. But as literacy – digital and print – permeates the entire school day, she says she’s willing to give principals flexibility to decide what combination of staffing and credentials works best for their schools. In some cases, that means libraries are run by assistants, technology teachers or testing specialists.

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The state’s two largest districts show very different trends. During those five years, Wake County logged a slight increase, from 196 to 200 media specialists. Last year, Wake had 171 schools, according to the state report.

During that same time, CMS dropped from 154 to 128 media specialists, a 17.5 percent change. Last year, CMS had 164 schools.

Much More (Including Several Tables) in the Full Text

See Also: Vanishing CMS Librarian (Video)

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.

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