Tag: librarynews

Spokane Public Schools Turn a Cold Shoulder to Librarians

Remember your favorite school librarian?

In Spokane, Washington, future students might grow up not knowing what a librarian does.

Two weeks ago, the Spokane, Washington Public Schools superintendent announced that librarians in public schools will be laid off before the academic year begins again in the fall, although the libraries themselves—generally very large rooms with hundreds of books and programs and resources that students need assistance navigating—will remain.



Image vIA eLLA’S lIST


Students will still have the opportunity to visit their school’s library, even if there’s no one to help them use it. As for library services, teachers will be expected to perform the librarians’ old duties—in addition to being teachers—while their students are visiting the library, according to The Spokesman-Review.

Just to be clear, school librarians often have degrees in library science and have been thoroughly trained in the instruction of research applications that library patrons have the option to use. The void left by a mass-migration of trained school librarians cannot be filled by giving the keys to teachers who already have full-time jobs outside the library.




Librarians are not guaranteed replacement positions in the public school system once they have been ousted from their jobs, although some librarians with suitable experience might be placed as teachers in the schools and communities that need them most. 

Specifically, the district’s choice to cut librarians out of the budget comes after the announcement for a $31 million deficit for the year; generally, across the country, more and more school districts are eliminating librarian positions, and more librarians are switching to part-time work. 


Library Closed for Budget Cuts



Another recent article from The Spokesman-Review claims public schools with more low-income students will be hit far harder by the layoffs than schools which serve more middle-and high-income families; in other words, more librarians will be removed from communities where students are already receiving subsidized school lunches, and from which librarians and other school faculty are leaving en masse for ‘better’ schools and neighborhoods.

Teachers are seeing salary increases with the elimination of librarians, with some employees receiving a 10-15% bonus.


Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.

Fiction to Fashion

These Teens Turned Their Old Books Into a New Wardrobe!

Where do all those old books go when no one wants them anymore? Perhaps an island of misfit books? Maybe another dimension? In North Carolina, students made all that old fiction… fashionable.


At the New Hanover County Library in North Carolina, students and budding designers tapped into their artsy side to create something new. Fiction to Fashion is the library’s fourth annual design contest took place yesterday March 1st, where teens use old books, CDs, and cassette tapes to create something totally beautiful and unique! Check out last year’s show video:

Eighteen designs comprised the runway show, but only five were chosen as the winners. These crafty outfits won any of these titles ranging from the Most Functional Design, Most Avant Garde Design, Best Accessory, Best Runway Swagger, to the Crowd Favorite. Tutus from old CDs, skirts from Manga comics, and paper ensembles inspired by the pages of Vogue all grace this event. Footage on the 2018 contest has not been released yet, but check out 2017’s fashion show photos, they’re full of talent and definitely worth a look:
Fiction to Fashion




Fiction to Fashion


Feature Image Via New Hanover County Public Library

No More Fees

This Library Ended Overdue Fees for a Wonderful Reason

Overdue library fees are a problem. The longer you wait, the higher the fee- thus the less likely you are to actually pay that fee. Yes, you can get in trouble, but haven’t we heard those stories of books that are decades overdue? According to Mental Floss, there’s even a book that is 221 years overdue… Let’s not look at the overdue fee for that…


But there’s another problem with overdue library fees: It discourages people from utilizing libraries to their fullest potential.


One library in Salt Lake City decided it was time to stop charging patrons for overdue books. In the past, library users were charged 20 cents a day for overdue books and 50 cents a day for overdue movies (although online streaming means minimal movies were rented out, we’re guessing). 


Salt Lake City Library


Starting July 1st, just over a month from today, “overdue fines at the Salt Lake City Public Library will be filed under the Dewey Decimal class 930 — ancient history,” the library said in the best, and nerdiest way possible in a press release


But why did this lovely library decide to end overdue fines? The reason is quite simple.


“The potential for taking on a large fine for a small infraction can keep community members from taking full advantage of their library’s collection, checking out fewer materials in order to keep their fine risk low. Others choose not to use their library at all,” the library stated. Simply put: They want to keep their patrons coming to the library. If a patron is afraid to check out books because they fear a pending fee, they are less likely to take out a book, or multiple books.


Library fines, according to the City Library Executive Director, work against a library’s mission. 


City Library Executive Director Peter Bromberg boldly claimed that overdue fines are “in opposition to the Library’s core equitable service, fostering early literacy, and barrier-free access to information and services.” He also stated that fines disproportionately impact “children and community members with the least financial resources.” 


Lastly, while overdue fees provide some source of a revenue, the Library claimed it was only .3% of the library’s budget.


What do you think? Should more libraries end overdue fees?