• Libraries fading as school budget crisis deepens

      By DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP Associated Press Writer

    • As the school budget crisis deepens, administrators across the nation have started to view school libraries as luxuries that can be axed

    • the American Association of School Administrators projects 19 percent of the nation’s school districts will have fewer librarians next year, based on a survey this spring. Ten percent said they cut library staff for the 2009-2010 school year.

    • Since few state or federal laws mandate school libraries or librarians, and their job losses are small compared with classroom teacher layoffs, library layoffs may seem minor to some observers. But librarians say few administrators or parents understand how involved they are in classroom learning and school technology.

    • Those who remain are doing the jobs done by two or three people a few years ago.

    • Gigi Lincoln, the librarian at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, Mich., since 1973, was told she would have to leave the library and start teaching French

    • Lincoln,

    • hasn’t taught French since 1972

    • Now she’s working part-time at two school libraries and says she will do her best to do more than just check out books.

    • Bellevue School District eliminated all its high school librarians. Middle Schools on being cut next school year.

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