I find it a horrendous decision to let every library media specialist in Ogden City School District go. In a district claiming to be "data-driven," I don't think the district examined available data at all. The ALA website, www.ala.org, shows studies from 20 different states, each providing consistent findings that having a certified library media specialist in public schools boosts test scores. The school district is depriving students of opportunities to explore the world around them through the opportunities a certified library media specialist provides. I've spent many hours visiting my mother, herself a library media specialist, in her school library. This has given me the opportunity to watch what she does in her library. She does so much more than check books in and out and shelve books. She has run a math club after school for interested students (for no extra pay, I might add). She brings stuffed animals in for the kids to read with and to promote a friendly environment. She runs book fairs, working long hours to provide her students the opportunity to buy books.
I've seen many students come asking what they can do to help out, desiring to simply be in the library and in her company. For some, the school library may be their only haven, the only place for them to escape a rough home life, to sit and dream for a little while. Last night, my mother told me she watched just such a child, a
little girl, just sit and look at the pages of books, completely enthralled.
My mother suspects this child has rough home life, and enjoyed seeing this little girl escape for a few minutes. While I think my mother is an amazing library media specialist, she is not unique to her profession. Many librarians show the same passion for the job.
Removing these passionate, dedicated professionals from our schools is a grievous mistake. If we remove our library media specialists, we deprive our children of the influence of these amazing people. Bad form, Ogden School District, bad form.