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I saw this sad story from Inside Denver about cutbacks in school libraries, and I thought sharing may help ease the pain. Here are only a few frightening facts:(1)Part-time aides replace librarians who also have been trained as teachers.
(2)Two of five public schools have either no trained librarian or one who works less than half-time, according to the state library.
(3)Since 1994, staffing relative to enrollment has dropped more than 10 percent.
As jobs disappear and librarians retire, the pipeline is drying up. By 2010, the state library predicts, there could be no new library media graduates in Colorado.\"
\"Ever since budget cuts in Boulder Valley Schools earlier this year, the librarian has worked part-time in a library closed one hour during every school day.\"
\"I think it\'s obvious that our kids have a tough time getting into the library and finding the books they need,\" Casey Middle Principal Ellen Miller-Brown said.\"
\"The numbers bear her out.\"
\"Statewide, per-pupil spending on print material fell 50 percent between 1994 and 1999 — to $9 per student, according to the state library. Spending in middle schools declined 25 percent during that period — to $22 per student. Spending in high schools fell 35 percent — to $12.50 per student.\"
\"Overall spending on library materials, from books to CD-ROMS, declined 50 percent during those same five years.\"
\"So goes the most recent chapter of school library history in Colorado: Funding is falling. Book collections are shrinking. Librarians are working fewer hours.\"
\"All that comes in the wake of an April report by the Colorado State Library concluding that now more than ever, in this era of high-stakes testing, books are kids\' best friends.\"