Le’ann Ardoyno, Abilene
My mom has worked in the Abilene school district for over 30 years, so elementary education has always been very close to my heart. I am writing because I am deeply saddened by the loss of daily/permanent librarian specialists on elementary campuses. Elementary librarians are a vital part of a quality elementary education. They provide children with a rich love for reading, essential weekly lessons, technology instruction and research skills. These higher level thinking skills must begin in the elementary schools. Eliminating our elementary librarians is detrimental to the basic foundation of early reading education. Surely there is a better way of cutting the budget other than stripping our elementary campuses of highly qualified educators such as library specialists.
Although paraprofessionals are wonderful, wonderful assets, they do not have the master training our library specialists do. Elementary educators are trying to raise readers and thinkers; this change will pull us further away from reaching that goal.
While working on my master’s degree, I conducted hours of research in numerous libraries and I found myself using the skills I learned in elementary school. The need for librarian specialists is essential; it is the basis of educating students and preparing them for middle school, high school and higher education. My love of reading and conducting research was instilled in me at a very young age through my librarian at Thomas Elementary. It is not fair to take that experience and education away from our current and incoming students.
I feel the people of Abilene need to let their displeasure of cutting qualified librarians on elementary campuses be voiced to the school board and administration. If an elementary librarian gave you, your child, or grandchild a love of reading, please let your voices be heard.