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Letters to the Editor
Friday March 23, 2001

Willard needs a librarian now 



Willard Middle School has lost its librarian.  

The district has told Gail Hojo, principal, that she cannot hire another librarian until next year because a librarian is a ‘non-mandated position.’  

Since there is a current budget deficit, there is a hiring freeze on ‘non-mandated positions.’  


I am asking all of you to contact the school board ( and/or the BUSD administration to rant, rave and get this changed.  

Our children are being put in an inequitable and disadvantaged position.  

The library is a classroom. Learning how to use it a necessary skill for a decent education.  

Middle school is where students really learn how to use the library to get into college.  

I was told that Berkeley High School teachers can tell if a student came from Willard or from King just by noting their ability to use the library. 

The citizens of Berkeley have taken great pride in our fantastic public library system, donating thousands of dollars to keep it open through a special library tax, and now, thousands more to renovate it.  

It is one of the most-used libraries per capita in the United States, maybe even in the world. What is wrong with us that we can't keep our libraries open in the schools? 

We, as citizens, voted in the money to pay for the libraries in the schools when we passed the BSEP tax.  

Libraries were specifically targeted to benefit in the original measure. Some of those funds do go to our school libraries. Why are libraries and librarians disrespected by our school board and school administrators?  

Why are they being put at the bottom of the heap? This is a travesty.  

Please make our libraries and librarians a number one priority – get them off the ‘non-mandated list’ and help our kids to be great Berkeley citizens. 




Lisa Bullwinkel