Librarians fight back
Librarians fight back
Tags: Librarians fight back
Added: 2 years ago
[scene opens with a male news anchor speaking with a male reporter on the scene at the Texas state capitol]
ROBERT: KXAN political reporter Josh Hinkle is live at the capitol, where librarians from across Texas have shut down their annual conference to protest these cuts.
JOSH: That's right, Robert ...
[cut to a single shot of Josh, as "Libraries on the Line" appears on screen]
JOSH: You didn't here any librarians today saying to keep quiet or say ...
[he puts a finger to his lips and "shushes the camera]
JOSH: Shh! But, I can guarantee you, even though things are finally starting to calm down out here ...
[the camera pans over to show the (mostly) empty scene]
JOSH: We have had line after line of librarians going into the capitol right now, trying to talk to lawmakers about how detrimental these cuts to libraries would be. It was really loud out here just a few minutes ago, we had crowds of a thousand or more. And they had drums, speeches, chanting, a lot of action going on out here. Keep in mind, five million of these cuts would actually go to the program's public school scene in the state. We talked to some local school districts today that said these cuts to libraries just will not do.
[cut to an exterior shot of Eastview High School]
DAVE: [in voice over] This district's made a tremendous commitment to libraries. They understand the importance of it.
[cut to Josh and the principal standing in the school's library]
JOSH: [in voice over] Doctor Dave Denny is the principal at Eastview High School in the Georgetown I.S.D. He says with upcoming teacher cuts, libraries will be more important than ever.
[cut to a map of the Georgetown I.S.D area, as "147 Staff Cuts - 10,500 Students - 17 Librarians" appears on screen]
JOSH: [in voice over] One hundred and forty seven jobs are at risk. About half of those are teachers. What happens in the next few months will directly impact the ten and a half thousand students in the district. Still, for now it's decided to keep all seventeen librarians on staff.
[cut to the principal ("Dr. Dave Denny, Eastview High School") being interviewed]
DAVE: When students come in, they are guides. They help them find those meaningful research documents.
[cut to various shots of students in the library]
JOSH: [in voice over] Some state lawmakers have argued teachers should be the priority over other school staff, but even groups generally supporting state cuts, like the Texas Public Policy Foundation, say districts need to make decisions that help as many students as possible.
[cut to a man ("James Golsan, Texas Public Policy Foundation") being interviewed]
JAMES: You need to focus on absolutely keeping your best people, where possible.
[cut back to Josh and Dave in the school's library]
JOSH: [in voice over] Denny says, for his district, that means librarians. We caught him on a day when his librarian was out, and the services just weren't the same. Sure, students got by on their own or with a library aide, but Denny says eventually learning would suffer.
[cut back to Dave being interviewed]
DAVE: You're not gonna have the same impact without a librarian.
[cut back to Josh at the state capitol]
JOSH: Now, school libraries might fare a little bit better, because it looks like the House and the Senate both wanna try to pump more money into those education budgets, but as for public libraries ...
[he holds up a "Texans Love Libraries" sign]
JOSH: These Texans that love libraries say these issues do not address the public libraries at all. We'll see what happens, for now we are live at the state capitol. Josh Hinkle, KXAN Austin News.
Librarians protest $30M in state cuts
Schools work to keep librarians on staff amid cuts
Updated: Wednesday, 13 Apr 2011, 7:12 PM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 13 Apr 2011, 4:30 PM CDT
By Josh Hinkle
AUSTIN (KXAN) - They are important to not only students, but also many other Texans who read. Libraries face massive budget cuts from the state - up to $30 million in the House proposal.
It was hard to get "shush" or "quiet please" from a crowd of thousands of librarians Wednesday outside the state Capitol, after shutting down their annual conference to protest. Their speeches, chanting and drums were efforts to make lawmakers hear how detrimental these cuts could be to people who use libraries in the state.
Nearly $5 million of that goes to K-12 library programs in public schools. Some districts in central Texas tell KXAN cutting library resources is one of the state's worst financial ideas for students.
"This district's made a tremendous dedication to libraries," said Dr. Dave Denny, principal of Eastview High School in the Georgetown Independent School District. "They understand the importance of it."
Denny said, with upcoming teacher cuts, libraries will be more important than ever. In Georgetown, there are 147 jobs at risk. About half of those are teachers. What happens in the next few months will directly impact the 10,500 students in the district. Still, for now, officials have decided to keep all 17 librarians on staff.
"When students come in, they're their guides," said Denny. "They help them find those meaningful research documents."
Some state lawmakers have argued teachers should be the priority over other schools staff. But even groups generally supporting state cuts, like the Texas Public Policy Foundation say districts need make decisions that help as many students as possible.
"You need to focus on absolutely keeping your best people where possible," said James Golsan, TPPF's education analyst.
Denny said, for his district, that means librarians. KXAN caught him on a day when his librarian was out, and the services just were not what they usually are. Sure, students got by on their own or with a library aide, but Denny said eventually learning would suffer.
"You're not going to have the same impact without a librarian," he said.
For education specifically, things are looking a bit better as the budget process plays out. Both the House and Senate have expressed efforts to pump more funding back to schools. But Wednesday's protesters said it does nothing to address public libraries.