I haven’t posted in a few days, but I was busy reading as many books as possible in case the world ended. Just in case there was even a remote chance that “they” could be right, I began reading faster. Unless I missed something though, nothing happened, and I can resume my regular pace.
Although it’s not technically the end of the world, I did hear some news today that qualifies as the end of an era. A friend who teaches in Ohio told me that the school libraries in her district have officially lost funding and that the librarians would be “reassigned.” As she explained the district’s financial challenges, I could understand how complicated it is. When there’s no money, cuts must be made. It’s like a household budget. And, as my friend said, everyone argues passionately for “their” worthy program. School libraries are in a difficult position. Although there are countless studies that prove the value of professionals in school libraries, it’s not something that can be measured by a test score. There are no grades that go along with finding just the right book for a student. It makes a difference, but not a visible or immediate one. Connecting students with words and ideas is an investment in the future. As much as I read about the importance of teaching kids to be innovative,creative and collaborative, I just don’t see those skills being prioritized in many schools. Students understand what’s important by watching us. When their school decides that the person who works in the library is no longer considered “essential,” that sends a message.
So, no, today wasn’t the end of the whole world. But for some kids in Ohio, they lost a professional showing them how to access its wonders.