Booklicious: Donate and Save a School Library

June 07, 2012


We're all familiar with the effect the recession and its aftermath have had on public libraries. In the North America and Europe, libraries have had budgets slashed and branches closed, even as demand has soared (In the U.S., Seattle has seen a massive 50% increase in circulation). But until I read this article by the New York Times today, I hadn't quite realized that all this slashing and burning was also taking place in the libraries of our public schools. 

TNS is a public school in New York. Home to a hugely diverse student population, 40% of its students are eligible for free lunch. So while other schools in the city raise $1.57 million for rooftop turtle ponds and iPads via parent donations, TNS struggles to maintain its library and art program. To hold onto the former for the upcoming school year, TNS parents scraped together $40,000. They have no idea how they'll manage to do it again next year. Or the year after that. 

Of course, TNS isn't the only school out there struggling. But if you're interested in helping a school provide a basic and vital resource to its students, you can donate to the fundraising effort here. If you're in New York and want to help, you can stop by TNS' lemonade stand fundraiser today.


Mags said... @ June 8, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I work in a public library in an upscale suburb of Chicago. I was dismayed to learn that, even in this affluent town, school librarians are being let go. The local public school district now has ONE librarian to serve seven elementary schools. Everything else is done by parent volunteers. No wonder students are graduating high school with a reading level closer to an 8 year old.

Evangeline said... @ June 9, 2012 at 12:05 PM

One to seven? That's awful. And if affluent suburbs are in this position, what's in store for everywhere else — especially where parents either no time or inclination to volunteer? I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I simply can't fathom the logic behind putting education on the chopping block first. Those cuts may save a few million dollars this year, but the consequences will be felt for decades. I doubt anyone will be saying a small reduction in debt was worth it.

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