School librarians: Headed for the history books?

  • Article by: DAAREL BURNETTE II , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 11, 2010 - 9:33 AM

As cash-strapped schools cut budgets, librarians find themselves on the chopping block.

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crj333Dec. 10, 1011:43 PM

The handwriting has been on the library wall for years. The best thing that Librarians can do for society is to scan and catalog significant and historical local news etc. and make that info available via the web.

farcicalDec. 11, 1012:19 AM

Just because the information is "there" does not mean it is easily accessible. Librarians are just as important today as they were in the days of yore. Only the tools have changed. Instead of a card catalog and microfiche, everything comes through the internet via a computer. But cataloging, guiding, and supporting that process is a skill in CONSTANT need of upgrading that classroom teachers cannot possibly keep up with on a regular basis.

thekhanvictDec. 11, 1012:27 AM

Kids grow up with the Internet (at least mine are) and they are more than capable of figuring it all out with minimal guidance. The first time they try and decipher which information is useful and which is not they may need some help, but after that they are fine. Schools don't need to waste 70,000 a year on a job that anyone can do.

jaburns36Dec. 11, 10 1:51 AM

For those who think the "everything" is on the Internet missed a few things (that is not surprising)... Google is a mechanism to sell advertising, it doesn't care if your kid has the right or wrong information, if Google decides that all of the books they scanned and libraries threw out can't sell enough advertising there is no getting those books back, if you "google" something there is no authoritative position, any one could have posted whatever they wanted on the topic and you'll never know and be less wise, ultimately. To get rid of libraries and librarians simply makes our students less smart with the inability to develop critical and creative thinking, in fact they only learn shortcuts to thinking. If we want more ignorant people in our society then we should get rid of libraries and librarians. Sadly, it appears we are well on our way...

patton55Dec. 11, 10 2:06 AM

I hate to say this, but librarians probably are not needed as much today. Teachers learn how to write papers and how to research during their undergraduate years and can give their students the guidance they need when doing research on the web. This is what will probably have to happen. But I do know this as well, as a teacher myself, that librarians always have a magical way finding information that you wouldn't have thought of yourself.

tiredretiredDec. 11, 10 2:33 AM

Too bad about this trend. Our kids deserve better.

morenews0013Dec. 11, 10 5:46 AM

School library media specialists teach kids how to find and access information,in books and on the internet. Any media specialist who is not primarily doing that actually shouldn't be employed anymore. I've been in media for years & see kids becoming less and less capable of searching out information.Many classroom teachers don't feel very confident about teaching this subject, either. Increasingly kids think if they can't just google it, the info isn't available. Schools with a good library/media program (i.e. not run by an aide or a parent) send kids out into the world with better skills.

pastabirdDec. 11, 10 6:16 AM

It's a shame that libraries are in jeopardy but it is a problem we have all caused. The internet has a ton of information and whether right or wrong, we all go there for information. However the school system will have to learn to combine the two and keep books as long as possible. I can see the near future when the curriculum is available only on e-readers and the schools will call them mandatory.

mankato58Dec. 11, 10 7:55 AM

Through all my years in schools it has been the librarian that has taught students how to take the teachers' assignments and turn them into a valuable product. The librarian is the one that teaches how to research, how to evaluate data and identify good and bad, and how to prove or debunk one study with others. With the loss of librarians who is going to be the specialist that will fill that roll? In this age when anyone can post on a blog or start their own web site to push their agenda, who is going to teach students how to differentiate good from bad, and valuable from crap?

annekimDec. 11, 10 8:13 AM

Most people think internet means Googling. Libraries have databases where students can access books, newspapers, periodicals, pictures and music electronically. Librarians instruct students on how to use these databases. I am a public librarian and I am surprised how often people (including adults) do not know the difference between Googling and using a database. We will be dumbing down our country (even more) if school librarians disappear.


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