Note: The article also includes a database certified library specialists in Michigan public schools during the 2018-2019 school year.
School librarians have become an endangered species across the state [of Michigan]. Consider:
- 92% of schools statewide don’t employ a full-time, certified librarian. Even if you count part-time librarians, the numbers hardly budge.
- The number of school librarians in Michigan declined 73% between 2000 and 2016, one of the sharpest declines in the country. The national count dropped roughly 20% during that period.
- Michigan ranks 47th in the country in the number of librarians it has per student.
Michigan’s rapid loss of school librarians makes it one of the more extreme examples of a national trend. American schools are in the midst of a reckoning about the role of libraries in schools. While most adults in the U.S. went to a school with a dedicated librarian, there are far fewer working in schools today, the result of an economic downturn and a growing sense that digital technologies would render books, library reference systems, and librarians obsolete.