Print or Digital: Where School Librarians Expect to Spend | SLJ COVID-19 Survey

Has the current crisis shifted spending? School librarians told us what they expect to buy, print versus digital, in School Library Journal's survey, fielded from April 2 to April 12.

In SLJ's survey, 28 percent of librarians report that future purchasing with definitely/probably shift toward digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Middle and high schools lean more toward a digital future, elementary schools less so.

Here is a sample of related comments, all from elementary librarians:

"The only reason I would not do more digital is budget and budgets are going to be even worse next year if jobs and property values tank. So I am really focusing on getting my families connected with their public library access which will lead to lifelong good habits and community support for funding public libraries."—a Missouri school librarian

"I have a lovely physical book collection that is collecting dust. I would love to be able to beef up my ebook collection but state budget constraints caused by the lockdown have put an end to my purchasing. I am happy to provide research support and was prepared for that but most large research projects are now on hold."—an Oklahoma school librarian.

"I wish I had the funds to purchase LOTS of ebooks. We are doing what we can with what we have and with the free resources out there, but I wish we had more middle grade fiction available."—a librarian in Pennsylvannia


School Library Journal fielded a survey from April 2 to April 12, asking K-12 librarians about what it's like since schools shut down due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and how remote learning is going.

Read: What Librarians Are Doing to Support Students and Teachers | SLJ COVID-19 Survey

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