DC Cuts Funding for School Librarians

Recent articles in the Post and the School Library Journal have highlighted how drastic DCPS budget cuts will affect school librarians and libraries across the District. All DCPS schools with enrollment under 300 will not have funding for a school librarian. All schools with enrollment over 300 will leave budgets for libraries and librarians up to the discretion of the school's principal. 34 school librarians are expected to be laid off.

Following a pattern in DC, the cuts will most drastically affect our "poorest schools."

The School Library Journal reports:

The challenge will be in communities where parental support isn't available and where students need their libraries even more," Huffine explains. "In communities where kids don't have a home computer, where they don't get taken to their public library and where they are already behind their classmates—these are the areas that most need a school librarian and where they will be eliminated most easily.
Children without access to school libraries will loose access to books, and reading will suffer:
In short, "the schools that stand to lose their librarians under the chancellor's plan are populated by children whose homes are devoid of books," wrote MacPherson in a letter to the City Council last week.
EnjoyReading firmly believes that these cuts will hurt poor children: they will hurt poor children and their families' access to books, they will hurt poor children's enjoyment of reading, and they will hurt poor children's acquisition of reading skills.
Along with parents, teachers, principals, and community leaders across the District who are lobbying against these cuts -- EnjoyReading has a plan. EnjoyReading doesn't want children to have to wait for consistent access to engaging and appropriate reading material -- we want to put circulating BookRooms in DC Public Schools without libraries now!
Throughout our pilot program this school year at Stanton Elementary School we:
  • Established a dedicated space for a circulating BookRoom.
  • Grew the BookRoom's inventory of circulating books from 500 to 1,500.
  • Cataloged 1,500 books and made them consistently available for check-out to 175 K-3rd graders.
  • Hosted a Family Literacy Night -- the highest attended non-mandatory after school event for students and families.

Help us put BookRooms in more schools without libraries in our Nation's Capitol!

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