In short, the larger the school, the more important the role of a school librarian.
But that would all change in the current project.
LPS, which has over 40,000 students and employs over 60 school librarians, would be required to employ a single part-time librarian for the entire district. The same would apply to Valentine, for example, which has just under 600 students.
There are approximately 700 librarians employed in public and private schools in Nebraska.
“If these specific (current) requirements are removed, school library positions will be removed,” Pentland said.
In cities like Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island that have larger school districts, that could mean the end of school librarians, said Chris Haeffner, director of library and media services at LPS, speaking as than a former librarian.
Haeffner has served on a committee of school librarians and others in the field that has spent the past two years providing information to the Nebraska Department of Education for rule 10 revisions.
“We shot for the moon,” she said. “We said there should be a full time librarian for each school.”
Haeffner is concerned that many of the recommendations made by the committee do not appear in the state’s draft, which she says reflects a lack of understanding of the role of school librarians.