Almanac

Viewpoint - April 7, 2010

Letter: Librarians may be gone without passage of Measure C

There are many reasons to vote yes on Measure C.

As the teacher-librarian at Laurel School, as well as the parent of two grown children who received excellent education in the district, I'd like to stress the importance of school libraries to our district program.

If Measure C is not passed, our libraries could find themselves in the same position they were six short years ago when the libraries at Laurel and Encinal were closed one or two days a week due to lack of staffing.

Imagine, in a district known for its national award-winning schools, our children were, and may be again, faced with locked library doors once or twice a week. Yes, the plan is to backfill the two lost teacher-librarian positions with clerks, allowing the libraries to remain open as often as possible.

However, without full-time credentialed teacher-librarians, the full potential of our school libraries would be diminished and the impact to our students and teachers would be significant. Not only do teacher-librarians support the teachers by collaborating on planning and supporting the delivery of the curriculum, more importantly, we teach children how to navigate their way through the sea of information that surrounds them.

We help them develop into critical thinkers with the ability to ask the right questions and filter the information available to them, to find answers and use information in a way that promotes confidence and intellectual growth.

What our children learn in today's school libraries will serve them well their entire lives and help them become successful and confident consumers and seekers of information.

Most people would argue that the value of these lifetime skills far exceeds the 50 cents per day that Measure C will cost each homeowner.

A "yes" vote on Measure C will help retain our very valuable school library program.

Gail Bradley, Laurel School teacher-librarian, Santa Margarita Avenue, Menlo Park

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