Proposal for fewer librarians has parents upset

HUMMELSTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – The school board is proposing fewer librarians in Lower Dauphin School District, a change parents say would take away resources from students.

Supporters say using that money for other things could provide more resources for students in the long run.

The proposal would eliminate the position of the middle school librarian who is currently retiring. The district is using the current elementary and high school librarians to fill the gap.

One mother speaking against the proposal used to be a librarian and her husband is currently a teacher at Lower Dauphin. The couple is concerned their kids will get less individualized attention.

“There are over 60 studies that have proven the power of a full-time librarian increases test scores,” Heather Lister said.

Yet the school board says after the change, the district would have the same number of librarians as neighboring districts.

Jim Hazen, the district’s community relations director, said the district would never do anything that would impact students in a negative way.

“What we’re looking to do is revitalize the entire library program at the secondary level, both at the high school and middle school, to make it more of a 21st-century media center more so than the traditional books-on-shelves library structure,” Hazen said.

The school board says it’s a balancing act, doing the best it can with the resources they’re given.

The school board will make its final decision in June.

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