[library-media] State Funds for School Libraries

Sharyl Smith sharylsmith at worldnet.att.net
Sat Mar 21 15:27:11 MDT 2009

Good News!

By now, it may be old news, but I wanted to pass this along...

Thanks to Rep. Tim Cosgrove, the amount of $500,000 in the School Library Books and Electronic Resources Budget has been retained.  In the Joint Public Education Subcommittee meeting where their final voting on the education budget took place, Rep. Cosgrove gave a compelling description of the six "essential research steps" teacher librarians teach Utah's students and drove home the point concerning "the need for new materials" to teach the library media curriculum. He was able to amend the education budget to retain one-third of the original ongoing funding. . It's not much, only about 87 cents per student, but the amendment serves to save the line item in the budget. This is critical. It's much easier to add to an existing line item than to create a new one.

All of us are needed now to do what is vital and necessary to protect and, perhaps, restore, funding in the future: 1) Thank the legislators on the Joint Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee and the Executive Appropriations Committee (there's some overlap in membership) with your emails, or even letters. Tell them how this money has been used; and 2) meet with your principal on a regular schedule, and tell him or her the good things you, teachers, and students have been able to do as a result of having the state funds for school library books and e-resources.

Finally, I understand that these are state funds specified for school library books and electronic resources.  School districts were given some flexibility to respond to the circumstances of the current economy and budget reductions, but that was through the Social Security and Retirement line items. So, unless otherwise specified, it is generally understood that transfer of funds between other line items is not allowed. If, in your district, the school library books and electronic resources funds were frozen or transferred, be positive in your approach, and meet with your principal. It's not supposed to happen. 

Best wishes,

Sharyl Smith

Dr. Sharyl G. Smith
Former Utah State Specialist for Library Media
University of Washington Information School Faculty, retired

sharylsmith at att.net

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