Yet funding levels remain far below 2010–11, when school library budgets averaged $10,348 and the median, $7,000. Furthermore, the nearly 800 school librarians who responded to SLJ’s survey in January 2016 say they believe their budgets will fall an average of 1.8 percent in 2016–17. Six percent of respondents report that they have no funding at all—with twice as many librarians in urban schools stating they work without money.
Libraries are the unsung heroes of school districts, being one of the most cost effective ways of not only getting quality literature into student’s hands, but to also help students select books that they will enjoy. With the likes of Accelerated Reader and Scholastic’s Reading Counts taking the joy and selection away from the students, libraries are needed even more.