LM_NET: Library Media Networking

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Dear fellow LM Netters:

I need ideas and advice about how to deal with the elimination of the
position of certified library media specialist in my school.

Here's the situation: My school serves about 275 students in grades K-8.
Four years ago the school board hired the first certified library media
specialist on a 50% schedule.  The other 50% of the time our library is
staffed by an aide, supervised by the certified librarian.  Before this, the
school library had been run by aides and volunteers.  This March the town
voted down the proposed 99-00 school budget.  This set us back to a default
budget, which means that next year the school must  operate with the same
funding they had this year.  However, the principal and school board want to
add an additional elementary teacher.  In order to fund that position, they
cut out the library media specialist.  They will hire a paraprofessional
instead.   The school board says that they can do this without affecting
their school approval rating.  Has anyone else encountered this problem?   If
so, how did you deal with it?

I am the librarian whose position is being cut and am fighting hard to get
the board to retain it.  I've already sent the board a 5 page letter
detailing what a certified library media specialist does and how that differs
from the services of a paraprofessional.  Thanks for any further advice you
can give me.   TIA for your help.

Lora Moore, Library Media Specialist
Lincoln Akerman School
Hampton Falls, NH

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