In The Columbian’s online comments responding to Hayden Babby’s June 6 letter, “Don’t cut school libraries,” Rob Perkins implied that librarians are expendable because teachers should be fully trained in conducting research. It’s all teachers can do to keep up with what is currently expected. As a corporate professional, I can attest that trying to do too much often results in doing, at best, an average job. Librarians shoulder part of the burden and carry it well.
School libraries have not been “rooms with books” for a long time. Removing the librarian from the equation is, in fact, a de facto closing of the library. A certified librarian assists in the development of a broad range of curricula and ensures that resources (text and digital) are current through weeding obsolete materials and acquiring new ones. No one without training, however enthusiastic, can do this.
Libraries are a center of literacy and discourse and play a big role in shaping students who become part of our society. Technology is an important part of the modern library, with research methods being taught. School librarians fight a daily battle to lead students to reliable and fully vetted sources of information, not someone’s “wiki” post or personal diatribe couched in disingenuous language.