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School Librarian Cutbacks Widen Digital Divide

School Librarian Cutbacks Widen Digital Divide

School librarians and media specialists are important. Librarians teach students media literacy, as well as how to do research, analyze information and evaluate sources. About one-third of public schools, however, do not have full-time, state-certified librarians. 

Members of the American Library Association call it a "national crisis," according to District Administration. The librarian's ability to teach all students these skills plays a large role in closing the "digital divide" between students with Internet at home and those who do not have access. 

"When you are an avid reader and solid information user, you are most likely a great student," said Gail Dickinson, former president of the American Association of School Librarians. "School librarians can enhance the learning experience for every child, and truly give those college and career-ready skills our students need."

In some states, there are laws that require schools to have full-time librarians. In New York, schools do not need to have a librarian in elementary schools, but it is mandatory in middle and high schools. In Virginia and North Carolina, all schools must have librarians. 

"In tough economic times, it's sometimes a hard sell to keep a position that is not required by the state," said Dickinson. 

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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