Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Minneapolis Schools Invest in Librarians to Revitalize Education

Minneapolis Schools Prioritize Reinstating Librarians to Revitalize Libraries

LEILA NAVIDI, STAR TRIBUNE Eighth-graders Sully Moseley, right, and J.J. Keating worked on book reports at the library in Anthony Middle School in Minneapolis. Before parent volunteers started staffing the library this year, it was largely closed to students and checking out


This article delves into the steps the Minneapolis school district took to reintroduce licensed librarians into each school, in contrast to the national trend of reducing librarian positions due to budget constraints. The piece outlines the proposed plans, discusses the significance of having a librarian in schools, and considers the potential impact on student's educational outcomes.


In recent years, the school libraries of Minneapolis have been uncharacteristically quiet due to a lack of librarians or library staff. As a result, these spaces have often been locked and dark, inaccessible to students. However, a recent decision by Minneapolis school administrators could herald a new chapter in the city's educational landscape. The district plans to allocate more than $4 million in its proposed budget to ensure that each city school will have at least one half-time librarian by next fall.


Reducing or eliminating librarian positions has been prevalent across the United States for years, especially in the wake of tight budget times. This trend has been a cause for concern among many who believe libraries are crucial in providing access to information and promoting literacy. While some argue that technology has made librarians obsolete, others point out that librarians offer valuable expertise in navigating the vast amount of online information.

Despite the challenges, many libraries and communities are finding innovative ways to keep their libraries open and staffed, recognizing their critical role in their communities.

Minneapolis school district leaders are taking a different path regarding their school libraries. They believe professional librarians are crucial in helping students learn various skills, including technology use and research methodologies. By having professional librarians in their schools, they hope to provide their students with the best possible education.


The significance of this move is monumental. Studies have shown that having a full-time, qualified librarian correlates to higher school reading and writing test scores. This is because librarians are trained to help students find and use information effectively, which can improve their research skills and overall academic performance.

Additionally, librarians can help foster a love of reading by recommending books and providing guidance on choosing appropriate reading materials. By investing in a full-time librarian, schools can provide their students with valuable resources and support to positively impact their education and future success.

Librarians, now referred to as library media specialists, play a crucial role in managing the library's resources and offering technology training for teachers. They also provide lessons in media literacy for students, which is becoming increasingly important in today's digital age. With the vast amount of online information, students must learn how to navigate and evaluate sources effectively. Library media specialists help students develop these skills, serving them well throughout their academic and professional lives.

Librarians play a crucial role in fostering a love for reading and facilitating students' acquisition of crucial research skills. They are the gatekeepers of knowledge, providing access to vast resources that can help students succeed in their academic pursuits. From books and journals to online databases and multimedia materials, librarians curate collections supporting learning and research across various disciplines.

In addition to providing access to resources, librarians offer guidance and support to students as they navigate the research process, helping them develop the skills they need to find, evaluate, and use information effectively. Overall, librarians are essential partners in the educational process, helping ensure students have the tools to succeed in school and beyond.


The Minneapolis school district's decision to prioritize the reinstatement of librarians presents a shift in the perceived value of these professionals in the educational ecosystem. School librarians have been undervalued and underfunded for years, with many districts choosing to cut their positions in times of budget constraints.

However, the Minneapolis school district's decision to prioritize the reinstatement of librarians suggests a growing recognition of these professionals' critical role in supporting student learning and academic success. By investing in school librarians, the district sends a message that it values its critical work and recognizes its impact on students' lives.

Librarians play a crucial role in schools, and their contribution to students' learning outcomes cannot be overstated. They are essential in highlighting the necessity of reading and research skills, which are fundamental to academic success.

Moreover, librarians provide students access to various resources, including books, journals, and online databases, essential for research and learning. Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge librarians' vital role in schools and support their efforts to promote literacy and academic excellence.

Ensuring equity in education is a welcome move. Every student deserves equal access to age-appropriate materials and the chance to learn crucial research skills. This is essential for their academic growth and development. We can create a more inclusive and just society by providing equal opportunities to all students. We must continue to work towards this goal and make education accessible to everyone.


Minneapolis schools are setting a precedent that other districts could follow. In addition, the return of librarians could significantly impact the overall educational landscape, providing students with valuable resources and skills needed in the 21st century.

The Minneapolis school district is sending a powerful message about the importance of libraries and librarians in shaping the future of education by prioritizing librarians. This decision highlights librarians' crucial role in providing students with access to information and resources essential for their academic success.

By recognizing the value of librarians, the district is investing in the education of its students and developing a well-rounded and informed community. In addition, this move sets an example for other school districts to follow in prioritizing the role of librarians in education.


Klecker, M. (2023, May 14). Bringing librarians back: Minneapolis district aims to reinstall licensed librarians at each school. Star Tribune. Retrieved from https://www.startribune.com/bringing-librarians-back-minneapolis-district-aims-to-reinstall-licensed-librarian-at-each-school/600274832/

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