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Upcoming librarian layoffs to leave students with negative consequences

The Twin Rivers Unified School District may eliminate librarian positions.

The teacher librarian and a student work together on a computer
Teacher librarian Joanne Ligamari and FHS sophomore Patrick Fitzgerald conduct research together on a library computer. Photo by Steven Koerner.

At a recent school board meeting, our librarians found out some very disturbing news. Due to some financial complications, the school district is planning on reducing and/or discontinuing certain school services. Sadly, library services are one of many that are being severely cut down. That means that Ms. Joanne Ligamari, who has a teaching credentials as well as a librarian credential, is facing a sad fact: she may not be to work at Foothill for much longer.

Whether it is to get work done, study, or just hang out in a calm environment, many students have found that the library is a wonderful place to go. For these students, daily patterns are definitely going to be disrupted. Without a teacher librarian present, the library will not be open nearly as much as it is now. In the Twin Rivers Unified School District, a non-credentialed employee may not supervise students unless a teacher is present. That means that without Ms. Ligamari, the library will not be open nearly as often as it is now.

With this reduction on the horizon, our library staff, Ms. Shannon Pegar and Ligamari, is very concerned for Foothill's students.

"I honestly believe that the school district is looking to save money," said Ligamari, "and in the long-run they are cutting off their nose despite their face."

Many students have noticed the substantial improvement of the school library along with its website page on SchoolLoop. In this last school year alone, many resources have been added to the library's homepage. There are now links on how to do citations for research papers, as well as search engines other than Google to retrieve much-needed information.

"I never looked at the website before Ms. Ligamari came," said senior Steven Koerner. "It has definitely grown a lot."

On another note, there have been studies that prove that school librarians and student achievement are strongly linked. According to an article published on lrs.org (Library Research Service), school librarians are linked to improved reading test scores. These increased test scores exist regardless of economy and overall staff losses. If a librarian is gained or stays in a school's library, test scores improve. Without Ligamari, students may struggle academically.

There is a way to change this bleak outcome. If you would like to make a difference, ask our librarians how to contact the district office. You can send a letter, make a phone call, or even walk into the office itself. It's not too late to help out and make a change.



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