|(Image from Flickr, by library_mistress)|
Less than 1 out of 4 California schools have full-time credentialed librarians, according to the state Department of Education (See San Francisco Chronicle, 1/2/12). There are only about 900 school librarians in the state, down roughly 20% from two years ago. Many schools have cut librarians entirely, while others have hired them part-time or are sharing them with one or more other schools. Some have put non-credentialed staff or parents at the front desk and one school has even hired students to staff its library.
While anyone can run a book through a bar code device, credentialed librarians are trained to teach students research techniques, deliver curricula, and instill a love of books and reading. Credentialed school librarians can help teachers develop lesson plans and research projects and teach students how to use databases, properly cite sources, and explain copyright laws. Some studies have found a correlation between having full-time credentialed librarians and student achievement.