Transitions to Digital Media: Are School Libraries on the Way Out?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

If your school librarians are feeling beleaguered these days, well, they have good reason. Consider:

• The ranks of certified school librarians have been decimated in recent years by districts struggling to balance budgets.
• The explosive growth of anywhere-anytime digital content in K12 districts threatens to make the concept of library-as-media-center an anachronism.
• And in the most recent blow to librarians, the city of San Antonio announced plans in January to open the nation’s first bookless public library, where all content will be available exclusively on e-readers.

So is this the beginning of the end for school libraries? Not by a long shot, says Susan Ballard, president of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Enlightened administrators realize that school librarians still play a pivotal role for students, guiding them through search processes and helping them find appropriate, reliable, vetted resources in print and digital format for research and other classroom projects.