March 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Victory for NYC School Librarians and an Empty Pocketbook for One Librarian| Feedback November 2014



“Out of his clothes…and into a black Speedo.”

—Mary Ann Folchert, via Facebook, in response to Travis Jonker’s grim discovery 100 Scope Notes, October 9.

NYSED_NYCDOE_A_v1I am proud that the state of New York and New York City have finally realized the value of a certified high school teacher librarian. I am a teacher librarian in Denver, CO, who loves the library and my degree to be a teacher librarian, but there are still some high schools in the Denver that have not changed over to hiring a certified teacher librarian.

—Dorothy Bernal Pyatok commenting on “NYC DOE Ordered to Comply.” 

“I have no words to describe what this young woman means to the world!”

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images News

Carol Robinson via Facebook in response to “Great Titles About 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images News

I have spent most generously out of my own pocket for more than 25 years in a major urban school system. I have begged and borrowed for my students without shame. For professional development, I have spent thousands on meetings, conferences, courses, books and media, professional memberships, journals, electronics, etc. in order to stay abreast of all the changes in our profession over all these years. It was a joy to be able to work side by side with the top people in our field, but it was not unusual to be insulted for it by school management for being an “uppity” teacher. As our salaries have shrunk, and our union dues have skyrocketed, I no longer travel to national or state library meetings. I had to make the choice to dump my state association or ALA membership to stay within my budget. I still spend at the local craft store for all my seasonal displays and troll flea markets and SLJ1411w-FeedBack-OutofPocketchurch sales for budget items. I buy treats for the library volunteers. I soak up webinars and attend workshops at local schools and museums. I paid for paper, ink, and bookcards for years. No more!
When you see a million spent on administrators, the cost of junk educational software in the classrooms, what the athletic director controls, how many meals are ordered in, and how much additional money the principal (or superintendent) redirects to his/her patronage mill, you might tighten your personal purse strings and make different choices.

—Comment from Anonymous on “Sticker Shock.


This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.