Librarians have become a popular target as school administrators look for ways to cut budgets. A quarter of [Minnesota]'s librarians have lost their jobs in the past decade, with 767 remaining to serve the state's 1,992 public schools...More at the StarTribune link. A sad commentary on our times.
The cuts come at a time when information overload is the rule and, librarians say, though their jobs have changed, the need for them is greater than ever. Navigating information for a report on Frederick Douglass, for example, can be dizzying for a 10-year-old...
Librarians say media centers are often manned by parent volunteers, who aren't certified and rarely become involved with such things as updating book collections or teaching research skills to students.
Librarians, once a staple in schools, don't come cheap. Most have two, sometimes three, master's degrees. Their average annual salaries generally can range from $50,000 to $70,000. The exodus has been steady since Minnesota legislators in 1996 got rid of a statute that required districts to have a minimum of one librarian per school. It has accelerated in the past five years as schools have tightened their budgets. Librarians are funded through discretionary funds -- or all the money left over after they pay for teachers, administrators, secretaries and literacy coaches.