Thursday, January 17, 2013

BESE Votes to Make Changes to Bulletin 741

Click the image above to enlarge and read the final revisions
Yesterday, was the day. Unfortunately, the librarians did not get exactly what they wanted from BESE. The document, Bulletin 741, now states that secondary schools are required to have a librarian and the staffing numbers are based on student population. There is no provision to require schools to keep elementary and middle schools staffed with a full time librarian. This is so distressing. We can only hope that administrators will keep a professional librarian in every school. The above image shows the edits that BESE members voted to keep in Bulletin 741 at their meeting, January 16, 2013.

The "new and improved" Bulletin 741 on librarians:
1705  School Library Media Programs
A. Schools shall provide reputable and relevant digital and/or print resources for students to access literature and reference materials that relate directly to the educational program and provide opportunities to explore beyond the sphere of the regular instructional program.

B. Each secondary school shall have a library and shall have librarian(s) as follows:
Student Enrollment   Required Librarians
299 or fewer            one half-time
300-999                  one full-time
1000 or higher         two full-time
1. This provision shall not apply to schools capable of providing resources and assistance to students through an alternate structure.
2.The LDE may request information regarding the services provided in situations where the above requirement is not being met.

4 comments:

  1. What a dark day. And frankly, item #1 above makes perfectly clear that schools can get around the new requirements altogether. Schools that are strapped for funding or space can eliminate libraries, resources, and librarians. At least we still have public libraries to serve us. Oh wait, the State of Louisiana also pulled funding for state libraries last year, didn't it? So if both your public school system and your local public library system are woefully underfunded...just pack up and move to a more prosperous area?

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  2. Yes, it is a dark day. School administrators of course can choose to staff their libraries with professionals, but I believe that money often wins out. So if schools can save money without librarians, then many of the librarians will be cut. What does that do for our children who don't have access to good books and lots of resources? I do what I do for the kids, not myself.

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  3. I agree, it's money that is the issue. Too many people now share the mentality that "everything is out there on the Internet nowadays." In the first place, there is far more trash than treasure on the Internet. We need librarians to help students understand the difference, and not just for digital materials. And oh, by the way, not everyone can afford a computer, or a Nook, or Internet access. And librarians help to inspire a lifelong love of reading and curiosity. Oh, I could go on an don. I'm so depressed. And I'm preaching to the choir.

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  4. Whether you are preaching to the choir or not, it is important to get our voices heard. It seems the guidance counselors spoke up more loudly than librarians in Baton Rouge. Librarians need to be talking too.

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