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ERIC Number: EJ839632
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0362-8930
School Library Journal's Spending Survey
Farmer, Lesley; Shontz, Marilyn
School Library Journal, v55 n4 p38-44 Apr 2009
This year's "School Library Journal's" spending survey showed that, despite the recession, the vast majority of media centers around the country have retained their credentialed media specialists. For example, almost 85% of elementary schools and more than 95% of middle and high schools have a full-time certified librarian. In addition, salaries have not declined. While elementary school librarians' salaries remained the same as in 2004-2005, both middle/junior and high school librarians experienced a median $2,000 raise. Comparisons between 2007-2008 expenditures and the 2004-2005 figures show consistent decline or stasis except for purchases of CDs and other software, which were 11% higher than in 2004-2005. While Internet subscriptions held constant, the median expenditures for books declined 15%, AV purchases dropped 41%, and periodicals declined 31%. Surprisingly, technology has not grown substantially since 2005, but the formats have sometimes changed. For instance, broadcast TV has outdistanced cable and closed-circuit TV, but overall availability is down slightly or down by as much as 25%. Both LAN and WAN network availability has decreased (from 64% to 59% for LANs, and from 67% to 59% for WANs), while WiFi availability has risen to about 50%. Use of technology by library media specialists for teaching and learning has also changed since 2004-2005, reflecting shifts in production emphases, reading strategies, instruction, and communication. Current trends may indicate that "traditional" computer instruction is needed less now and that the more interactive, dynamic, skills--such as creating blogs--are more useful. Almost one-fifth of the respondents now use podcasts and a quarter use blogs and wikis. In summary, this year's survey data shows that regional differences have largely disappeared. Additionally, the actions of beginning and veteran librarians show little difference in practices, although newer media specialists tend to use more Web 2.0 technologies, and more experienced media specialists subscribe to more databases. Three trends emerged from the current 2007-2008 survey responses: (1) School librarians have opted for "lean and clean" collections. Fewer items have been added, and more weeding means less outdated material. Media specialists are subscribing to fewer databases, or at least are being more selective about them; (2) "Traditional" library technology has hit a plateau. There are no great plans to add more equipment. Overall, it appears that librarians have reached a mature level of technology use: transcending the novelty and potential of technology to choose effective resources that provide a unique niche for library services built on their specialized knowledge and experience; and (3) Participatory technology--and participation in general--seems to be the next wave that media specialists need to ride. Web 2.0 offers a wonderful chance for the school community to contribute to the library and the school's knowledge base in general, and the library can emphasize its support of authentic student knowledge production. (Contains 9 tables.)
Reed Business Information. 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010. Tel: 646-746-6759; Fax: 646-746-6689; e-mail: slj@reedbusiness.com; Web site: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Media Staff
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A