Gloomy Outlook for School Libraries

That’s one of the predictions from ALA’s The State of American Libraries 2013 (report found at


Sequestration is adding to the problem of shrinking state budgets. Unfortunately, this means cuts in aid to education which often means reduced funding for school libraries.

At a recent meeting of the North Dakota Southeast Library Media Association, the general consensus was that, even in North Dakota, flush with new oil revenues, school librarians have to do more with less.

Here are more statements from ALA’s report:

“The number of school librarians declined more than other school staff from 2007 to 2011.”

“In 2011, salaries for new school librarians have contracted by about $900.”

“Cuts to school librarian positions betray an ignorance of the key role school librarians play in a child’s education, especially in this era of Google, when today’s students are flooded with an unprecedented volume of information.”

Other topics covered in the report: technology in schools, networking, filtering, digital textbooks, and gaming.

So, what’s the deal? As a nation, are we de-valuing school libraries and school librarians? Is it just a money issue? Investing in the successful future of our kids seems the wisest and easiest of choices.

“There is no problem a library card can’t solve.” –Eleanor Brown, Author


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