So we recently had our title changed to “school librarian” by our professional organization, and although I felt like it was a set back, in the grand scheme of issues that need advocacy, seriously the name change was small potatoes. But recent events have suddenly made that name change completely fall off my radar.
To say I am shocked is an understatement. I realized that I needed to educate my administration and even teachers in my building of what I do for the schoolwide program, but WOW, it seems our president and congress need this education as well.
Some quotes that bug me, seriously:
He discussed the $20 billion in cuts for programs that are inefficient or have outlived their usefulness, and cuts for worthy programs that must be trimmed accordingly. (Read the whole article here.)
Today the President’s FY 11 budget is out – with greater detail about what we’re proposing and additional initiatives that will help middle class families get ahead. (Read the whole article here.)
Okay President Obama and esteemed congressmen and congresswomen, where in this plan is the bailout for school library programs? While you are considering this, I have to wonder if the Sidwell Friends Lower School Library, the Sidwell Friends Middle School Library, and the Sidwell Friends Upper School Library are at risk of losing their funding? The Sidwell Friends Upper school boasts if offering 1,000,000+ resources to their students (go watch the cutesy video for yourself!) Not familiar with Sidwell Friends School? Oh, I thought everyone knew that the Sidwell Friends School is the chosen (private) school for the president’s children.
Once again the privileged benefit, despite measures to affect change with less than privileged
It is painfully obvious that even leaders such as our president and congress haven’t got a clue about the importance of school libraries. But why would they? Their own children no doubt have every advantage to get resources needed to support their learning, including parents (or guardians) who will drive them to bookstores to buy books they may want or need, an up-to-date computer to search the Internet, and even tutors to teach them searching strategies. No, due to their stature and position in life, they will never know how middle class or even under-privileged youths rely on our resources. They will never know of our expertise or skills in helping these students utilize their higher order thinking skills or seamlessly use technology as a tool to demonstrate concept mastery. It’s a sad state of libraries to be sure, and it won’t even be missed by these decison makers cutting our budgets.
Tell me how to apply for a bailout!
How do we apply for a bailout program for school libraries? Banks got them. Car dealerships got them. I promise I won’t give out financial bonuses with the funding. But I do promise to equip students with the means to be successful in our world. Isn’t that the purpose of a bailout? To make the ones receiving help independent? We are not inefficient programs that have outlived our usefulness. And cutting school library program budgets will most certainly negatively impact middle class (and lower) students.
Just FYI by the way…
By the way, it costs roughly $30,000 for a student to attend Sidwell Friends, so for our President, multiply that by 2. Oh that just 10% of this pittance were the norm for budgets across our state. Sadly, I think that may be an elevated figure.