May 27, 2022

Amid a Literacy Crisis, Michigan’s School Librarians Have All But Disappeared

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.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 1350 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.