Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More Economic Woes @ Your Library

I'm sorry to say that our high school library is certainly not immune to the financial situation in our country. Due to cutbacks in state and district spending, within just one week I've heard of three losses to our library services:
  1. NetTrekker: This educational search engine was provided through state funding and is no longer available as of today, July 1. This was not only a valuable tool to our students, but a wonderful professional development tool for myself and other teachers looking for quality, educational resources.
  2. POWER Library Databases: Also effective today, POWER Library has lost four, extremely valuable databases:
  • Consumer Health Complete (including Salud en Espanol and Lexi-PALS Drug Guide)
  • History Reference Center
  • Book Source: Non-fiction
  • Professional Development Collection
  • Pearl's Picks
I've used Professional Development Collection many times to find some great resources for my principal, our teachers and for my own professional development. I often recommended History Reference Center and Book Source to students as an option for finding quality, print sources for their research. And Consumer Health Complete was an awesome resource for our health and science classes.

3. Support Staff: At last week's school board meeting, members voted to cut all support staff's to 7 hours. This is most unfortunate news since it will mean that our library assistant, Mrs. McLaughlin will now be working until 4:00pm, forcing us to close the library a half hour earlier than our usual closing time of 4:30pm. Many students will be quite disappointed since our library was often used right up until Mrs. McLaughlin closed the doors at 4:30.

My worry is that, with our state budget still under negotiation, more cuts may still be coming. It's vital for legislators and voters to know the impact that these cuts will have on our students. Our students are becoming very savvy researchers and are coming to realize the importance of using authentic, quality resources in contrast to something they may find by Googling it. Can we really afford to cut something so vital in our students' 21st century education?

Heard enough to convince you that this is a real issue for our students? Then please contact your legislators TODAY and let them know that we need these valuable library resources. Our Bucks County Library system makes this very easy for their residents. They have set up a survey through Survey Monkey which allows you to voice your opinion. Within just 2 minutes, your voice can be heard. PLEASE DO IT NOW!

The Bucks County Library website also has this interesting video clip of NBC's TODAY show on the value of public libraries. Although the focus is on public libraries, the same issues can be said for our high school library: most every morning before school has begun, as well as in the afternoon when school is over, the library is absolutely full of students using the services which they might not have available at home. As Matt Lauer so effectively concludes, Libraries are an important part of our lives!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

This is very distressing information. I just completed the survey!