Saturday, May 22, 2010


from the Galatzan Gazette - boardmember Galatzan's weekly e-newsletter |

20 May 2010 - Superintendent Cortines said this week he will ask local district superintendents to conduct an inventory to determine if library aide positions are being funded for next year at individual school sites. Speaking at the Committee of the Whole [of the Board of Education] meeting, the Superintendent also asserted that libraries must be administered by“professionals” rather than volunteers, as is the case at some schools.

The Superintendent made his remarks in response to comments from library aides, several from schools in [boardmember] Tamar [Galatzan]’s district, decrying severe cuts being proposed for the library program.

He called libraries and library aides “essential” and stated unequivocally that neither high schools nor middle schools should be without a library. The Superintendent did remind the Board, however, that because of the budget crisis, there will be less money for libraries next year.

●●smf's 2¢:

  • The "essential" designation of school libraries is critical+welcome

  • is the recognition of the professional status of library aides: elementary school librarians

  • is the "unequivocal" statement that "neither high schools nor middle schools should be without a library"

  • ....though it equivocates on elementary school libraries.

  • That there will be less money next year is unquestioned; that there will be less money for libraries is purely a school board decision.

This is good - but not nearly good enough: Students don't need an inventory, they need libraries.

Earlier board policy and school construction and modernization bond language identified and defined school libraries at all schools as "core facilities." I was instrumental in developing that policy and I can assure the superintendent and the current board that the intent wasn't un-staffed or closed libraries.

Hopefully the local district supes will interpret Cortines words as a directive to keep all school libraries open - hopefully he will frame his direction as a directive.



turtlelearning said...

Cortines said the same thing when a group of Teacher Librarians spoke before the Board two weeks ago. However, two days later he said he accepted the principals' decisions not to purchase Library Aides because they had carefully considered their needs and budget. First of all, it isn't possible that he has contacted all of them in a few days' time. Secondly, he is allowing some of the largest schools in LAUSD with Wonder of Reading Libraries not to purchase a library aide, even though they have the funds to do so. At least three such schools in District 6 purchased plenty of teacher assistants but no library aides. They plan to us a low-paid, untrained TA in the library.
Joan Kramer, retired CFL and TL

Melinda Buterbaugh said...

Elementary school library aides are not librarians. Their job status as listed by the district is "library aide." The training and expertise to be a librarian (credentialed teacher librarian) is not required of those who fill these positions. "Teacher librarian" is a job title held by those who manage LAUSD libraries at the secondary level.

Library aides fill an important role in the elementary school, but they are not librarians.