U.S. Public Schools Say Goodbye to Librarians

If you’re thinking of becoming a librarian, or are already one, we have some bad news for you. U.S. public schools are saying goodbye to librarians as the rate of full-time hired librarians has dropped significantly in the last fifteen years and will likely continue to decline, according to NCES.


The School Library Journal recently examined statistical data gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics which found that between 1999-2000 and 2015-16 school years the percentage of full-time librarians dropped by 19%, going from 53, 659 to 43,357.



Source: School Library Journal 


As you can see in the graphics provided by SLJ, while the amount of full-time librarians have slowly dropped since 1999, the Great Recession of 2008 appears to have exacerbated the decline. 


The shortage of librarians has paid a hard blow to some states in particular, with California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Michigan coming in as the top five states which have lost the most amount of full-time librarians. 



Source: School Library Journal 


While the shortage of librarians remains a problem for every classroom in the United States public school system, its an even larger issue for minorities. 


According to Education Week reports, the shortage of librarians predominately affects racially diverse school districts as they have seen the most amount of librarians dismissed.  75% of school districts which haven’t lost a librarian since 2005 are white, while 78% of school districts which have lost the most librarians were comprised of minority student populations. 


This is a significant issue considering the already-existing challenges many urban and minority school districts face. According to a USDA 2013 report, “64 percent of students receive free or reduced price lunches, indicating that their families are at or near the federal poverty level.” Urban schools have also had a history of limited government funding and socioeconomic disadvantages. Therefore decreasing the amount of full-time librarians takes away beneficial educational support to students who already face educational disadvantages. 


To learn more about this decline and other vital statistics, read the rest of the report here.



Featured Image Via ‘Reader’s Digest’