Most Michigan adults attended a school that employed a full-time librarian.
Few Michigan students today can say the same.
School librarians have steadily disappeared across the state over the last two decades, crowded out by budget cuts and shifts in information technology. Today, just 8% of schools in Michigan have a full-time certified librarian on staff. Their numbers fell by more than 70% over the last two decades, one of the sharpest declines in the nation. In Detroit, for example, the city district of 50,000 students employs just two.
That shortage has set off alarm bells with some citizens and lawmakers, who argue that librarians are a necessary piece of the state’s efforts to combat a literacy crisis.
But some education leaders have pointed out that librarians might not be the best use of resources for cash-strapped school districts.
What’s your view?
Please take a few moments to tell us about your school librarian. What do you remember about that person? How did they shape your education?