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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In CPS, library void goes beyond one sit-in

The subtitle: Lack of money, space leaves more than 160 schools inadequately equipped.

Almost makes me glad both Bennett-Shedd schools have decent libraries once upon a time. I wonder if some of these schools could work with the public library system to give CPS students access!

If they want to explore a wider world of books or get help with research from a trained librarian, children in Chicago often have to look beyond their school.

Many of the city's public schools lack libraries, a situation that made a group of mothers in Pilsen so angry they commandeered the ramshackle field house at Whittier Elementary School for more than a month.

The mothers won, and the Chicago school board is set to vote Wednesday on measures including a library for Whittier that should end the protest.

But the situation at Whittier is hardly unique. Citywide, 164 public schools — nearly 1 in 4 elementary schools and 51 high schools — do not have standalone libraries staffed by a trained librarian.

A lack of money and space and the competing need for new technology mean libraries are often left out of school plans even as students in Chicago Public Schools struggle to meet national standards in reading.

Even at those schools that do have a library, which by CPS' definition means at least one part-time teacher-librarian is on staff, the situation is sometimes far from ideal.
This is worth reading the whole thing!

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