Tuesday, May 17, 2011

School Librarians in Los Angeles Defending Their Jobs

In case you were hiding under a rock these past few years, let me get you up to speed:
  • The economy collapsed and the mortgage bubble burst
  • Wall Street was at fault
  • There's no money to pay for public services, like schools and libraries
  • Wall Street is back to record earnings
  • Despite the economic rebound, no one is hiring
  • Public employees are being laid off, asked to take wage cuts and blamed for everything
And that brings us to the present.  A present where school librarians in Los Angeles are being made to testify in court proceedings to defend their work as educators.  They're bringing in lesson plans and discussing their teaching methods, all in an attempt to prove that they are teachers.  Meanwhile, LAUSD is trying to prove they do not teach (because if they did, then they could be transferred instead of let go).

Say what?  Just because someone doesn't have a regularly scheduled class with a course name and description, that makes his or her teaching non-existent?  Even if that person prepares lesson plans and works with teachers to plan units and TEACHes the research process?  Anyone who has ever been anywhere near a school library will tell you that librarians teach.  And thankfully, this article sides with school librarians.

But naturally I have to rant about one tiny part of the article.  The last paragraph.  Why was it even written?  It just shows that the reporter is one of "those people" who hasn't been in a school library in quite some time:
It doesn't seem right to punish an educator for choosing the quiet and contemplation of book stacks over the noise and hubbub of a classroom or a gymnasium. But that's where we are in these strange and stupid times.
Quiet and contemplation?  Don't get me wrong.  I appreciate this article's defense of librarians, and the rest of the article is spot-on, but the closing paragraph shows that the author doesn't really know school libraries at all.  Hector Tobar, you need to come visit my library and tell me how much quiet and contemplation you get a chance to enjoy.  This joint is jumpin' with active, inquisitive students.  And I'll be the last person to shush them. 

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1 comment:

  1. I would like to say that the bubble was created by an excess of demand for homes. People were allowed mortgages without good credit because they were forced to by the gov or be fined. All see tumbled from there. Businesses are not hiring because the gov is making so many changes to the rules they have to play by, they are just waiting to see where it ends.