HISD board to vote on putting a librarian in every school

HISD board to vote on putting a librarian in every school

- Would it surprise you to know most schools in HISD don't have librarians? Now there's a push to change that. 

There was a time when libraries and librarians at schools were a given not a luxury. 

“How can we have libraries in some communities but not others?  How can that be right?” asks retired HISD Library Technology Supervisor Debbie Hall.  Hall has been on a campaign to get librarians in every HISD school.

”Out of the 280 schools, only about 35% have a certified librarian in charge of the library,” explains Hall.

“Literacy in Houston is in a crisis. If we are going to focus on Literacy By Three, which is a wonderful program we’ve implemented, I think a large part of that is having the libraries at every school, up, running, available and appropriately staffed,” says HISD school board member Rhonda Skillern-Jones. 

Jones is proposing to have librarians in every school.
“Ten of our surrounding districts have a librarian and a media specialist on every single campus,” adds Skillern-Jones.

”HISD should be able to do the same,” says Hall.

“The only way to develop a vocabulary rich language and to be able to translate reading into learning, because reading is the foundation of all other learning,” explains Skillern-Jones.

Hall says without librarians, the economically challenged schools are severely suffering. 

“That is the most frightening aspect of it.  Where they need it the most, they’re more likely not to have the services of a certified librarian, or the library may indeed be closed”.  

If you would like to be part of the push to keep librarians, Hall has a website: www.studentsneedlibrariesinhisd.org. 

”The better reader you are, the more successful you can be,” says Hall.   

The HISD board will vote next week. Skillern-Jones says there hasn't been any opposition. She says it's just a matter of finding a way to pay for it. 

If the proposal passes, a librarian could be in every HISD school as early as next year.

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