Librarians Rarer Sight in California Schools

California schools have fewer librarians per student than any other public school system in the country.

By Chris Roberts
|  Monday, Jan 2, 2012  |  Updated 2:05 PM PDT
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Librarians a Rare Sight in CA Schools

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There are fewer and fewer school librarians in California.

If you can read this, don't thank a school librarian -- they're too hard to find.

Fewer than 25 percent of Caliornia public schools are staffed with a school librarian, according to SFGate. That makes about 900 school librarians across the state, according to Department of Education statistics -- or the lowest ratio of librarians-to-students in the country.

With budgets sliced and diced to balance big statewide deficits in Sacramento, school librarians are often the first to go, according to the report. Schools will try to share librarians between three campuses, or ask parent volunteers to fill in to tell students where the books are kept.

But since students rely more on technology and computers in classrooms, some educators and executives question the need for librarians, many of whom don't spend time teaching children how to read or advising what books to take up next. They do teach copyright information and how to do research, however -- and schools with on-site librarians also record higher test scores, according to studies.

Fewer books are also being checked out in schools that applied for grants for the federal government -- and as for research techniques, does anyone really need a full-time staffer to tell them how to use Google?

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