Volunteers Can't Replace School Librarians

Referring to a previous article in the Daily News Tribune, Mary Ellen McKenna, herself a parent volunteer, salutes parents who volunteered to man the school library in Ashland Massachusetts when the librarian position was eliminated. But she adds:

"The article sited budget cuts and the inability to hire professional librarians. The parents in town did not want their children spending another academic year with [sic] library services. They formed a unique volunteer team to support the lending of library resources to the children. While I am very impressed with the commitment of the volunteers, I am concerned the article serves to perpetuate the lack of appreciation for our professional school librarians.

As a volunteer library parent, I routinely check out books for the children. However, the librarian's job goes much beyond checking out books. Who will teach these children the origins and ways of the Dewey decimal system? Who will teach them a true appreciation for the various genres of writing? who will teach them the research skills that become lifelong tools? Our school librarian is constantly thinking outside the box to meet the needs of the children."

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