David Scharfenberg’s story in Thursday’s Planet is misleading.
At various points in your article, you mention both librarians and library media technicians somewhat interchangeably, which they are not!
There haven’t been certificated (that is librarians who hold MA's in Library Science as well as valid CA teaching credentials) in each elementary school since 1980!
At that time 18 of us worked in Berkeley’s elementary schools; we were cut to half-time, having two schools as late as 1977-79, as your article mentions. Then we were laid off altogether.
According to California state law, we couldn’t be replaced by classified/library technicians, as that would be replacing an union person (teacher-librarian) with a clerk, in essence. However the following year, clerks were hired. In the pre-1966 K-6 libraries, volunteers were all we had; now I see from reading your article that they are back!
The library-media-specialists you site are valuable to protect collections from walking away.
They are no substitute for teacher-librarians, which we were, to be partners in every area of the school curriculum. It seems to me that another budget category could be considered before the $600,000 allocated for books, computers, & library supplies be usurped for salaries of these same technicians.
After leaving Berkeley Schools I was able to find employment in the Oakland Public Schools until I retired in 1998.
Sylvia P. Scherzer