Pennsylvania: “Philadelphia School District Librarians: A Species Nearly Extinct?”
How many full-time, certified librarians would you guess one of the nation’s largest school systems – a district with 220 schools and 134,000 students – employs?
One hundred? Two hundred?
Not even close. Eight certified, full-time school librarians staff Philadelphia School District buildings. A handful of others juggle library responsibilities with teaching classes. Many school libraries are closed entirely.
School libraries have been disappearing in Philadelphia and elsewhere for years, but that the number of full-time, certified librarians is now in the single digits is astonishing, even to those who study library trends.
“That has to be the worst nationally,” said Debra Kachel, a school-library expert and instructor at Antioch University Seattle. “It’s really appalling.”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.