Cache schools could see reduction in number of librarians

In a money-saving move during tight budgetary times, Cache County School District could be replacing some of its library media literacy specialists with trained aides in the upcoming school year.

The librarians would only be replaced as they retire or leave their positions, and Superintendent Steve Norton said the district intends to return to hiring full-time librarians as soon as the budget allows.

At the district’s Board of Education meeting last week, a few residents spoke their concern, including Greenville Elementary PTA President Jennifer Beach.

“With everything that we do in the district, and at schools it really should come down to what’s best for the kids, and I’m not convinced that replacing the library teachers with aides is the best thing for kids,” she said.

Librarians do more than just help children check out books; they teach them media literacy and research skills, and Beach said she doesn’t think the training aides will receive makes up for the loss of the librarian.

Aides will receive four days of training at the beginning of the year. They will go to monthly meetings and be mentored by current librarians. District officials are hoping people with degrees will be interested in the aide positions, especially since many are unemployed during this recession.

Norton said the district hasn’t had to lay anyone off due to budget issues, and hiring part-time aides instead of full-time librarians will help balance the budget for fiscal year 2012-2013. The plan to replace exiting librarians with aides is not a final decision, but is part of the budget being discussed and possibly adopted at the board’s June meeting.

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