Tuesday, May 17, 2011

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: L.A. Unified librarians under siege

L.A. Times 17 May 2011 | http://lat.ms/gqr641

  • re: DEFENDING LIBRARIANS: Re "Disgraceful interrogations," Column, May 13 | http://bit.ly/ieN5dc
  • see also: From my cold plastic chair: LAUSD TEACHER-LIBRARIAN COURT   Settle in, it’s a long one. from The Library is Not... http://bit.ly/lbQ1yQ

I was saddened by Hector Tobar's column regarding Los Angeles Unified School District librarians testifying in a district courtroom as to their value in the school system so they can keep their jobs.

As a professor of history and social science at a community college, and as a mother of a 13-year-old, I do not understand the depths into which our society has fallen. I am disheartened at the continued draconian cuts in education. Someone please explain how it is that we do not value the services of librarians? For my courses, they are the most important resource available to my students.

My heart just breaks from the complete ignorance that accompanies these unfathomable measures.

Elizabeth Kronbeck

Thanks to Tobar for keeping us posted on L.A. Unified's crackdown on those eternal enemies of civilization, school librarians. There's no better use of limited funds than paying attorneys to harass educators who've devoted their lives to helping our children.

I also applaud the valuable presence of armed police officers at the hearings; you never know when a librarian will pull out a book and start reading.

Bennett Tramer
Santa Monica

After reading about the shameful way the school librarians are being treated, does anyone wonder why teachers and their union distrust the district's administration?

If we want literate students, we need books for them to read, we need to give them guidance for research, and we need that all-important individual attention that only librarians can give them.

As a former teacher, I can attest to the invaluable knowledge of school librarians. They have all the up-to-date information on our complex and ever-changing Internet sources, and they teach the students how to be lifelong learners. To deny students these important tools is doing them and our society a lasting disservice.

Alexa Smith Maxwell
Los Angeles

Thanks to Tobar for spotlighting this issue. Disgraceful is too mild a word for this one-sided inquisition of professional librarians and teachers. Our society will be much better off if we keep librarians in our schools and the district lawyers out.

Ed Carstens
Santa Clarita

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