These are tough times in education - I know that phrase has been used for the past few years, but this week that phrase really hit home here in my world.
Galileo, our state database system is being threatened. Our new state education superintendent Dr. John Barge left if off the new budget proposal. The state DOE stated that while it is useful it is not necessary.
I have my students use Galileo databases on a daily basis (example here ) and I cannot imagine not having access to resources like this for my students. Martha Powell, a Georgia media specialist has a great letter up on the GLMA blog about WHY we need resources like this in our schools.
In my own school this week budgets were again cut. The good news is I will have a job as a library media specialist at my current school and I will still have a full time clerk. The bad news is we are having to do more with less staff and this includes me teaching specials next year and I am sure my clerk will be doing many things not related to helping run the library. I am not teaching specials all day, but it does cut into time when I could be collaboratively planning lessons with teachers. I am teaching a 5th grade special this year with the technology person at our school and I have seen that the 5th grade teachers have not been collaborating on many lessons or projects with me this year. A 5th grade teacher told me it was because she figured her kids were getting "what they needed" from me during the special. While, I am teaching research and technology skills during the special class, I still think it means more to the students when both the classroom teacher and I collaborate together.
I think times will get better and I am VERY fortunate to be in a school system that does value the role of the library and having a full time certified librarian in the library. I think in the mean time, we need to roll up our sleeves and do whatever is needed to help our students be as successful as they can be - I mean, isn't that what it is all about - the kids. Sometimes I think some people forget that.