professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Overlooking the facts

NPR ran a story this week about Chicago Public Schools opting to remove librarians from their libraries and place them in the classroom. Here is the full piece: Note that librarians are deemed a LUXURY, one that schools can do without. Sigh.

"There's no required amount of minutes for library instruction in the state, so schools won't face any repercussions if they don't have a librarian or a school library," says the reporter. Repercussions? How about a decline in test scores, especially among ELL? That is what studies indicate happen when school librarians are REMOVED from their libraries.

As an LS program, we often have these discussions: what happens when librarians are replaced with aides and volunteers? Who loses? Ask a librarian what her or his job entails beyond checking out books. Talk about reference, collection development, research, literacy promotion and the like. My colleagues Mary Ann Bell and Tricia Kuon recently published an article that liken what librarians do to an iceberg: so much of what happens is not visible. It occurs below the surface. I think the same is true for teachers (what with our weekends and summers off and banker's hours, right?). What we need to do is bring the invisible up to the surface. Let us share and show the work we generally do "below the surface."

BTW, that includes the reading, the blogging, the chats, and more.
Tags: icebergs, libraries, schools
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