Natomas School Libraries To Reopen

More than half the elementary school libraries in Natomas will reopen on a temporary basis at the end of this month thanks to fundraising efforts led by parent groups.

The Natomas Unified school board is expected to take action tonight to approve two part-time media technician jobs that will restore some library services temporarily. The two positions — one for four hours per day and a second for six hours per day — will be shared by five schools through the end of the 2010-11 school year.

“I think it’s phenomenal for parents to look beyond labor law and bargaining unit issues and say ‘How can we problem solve around this and provide an education resource (kids) need?’,” said Howard S. Kornblum, Assistant Superintendent Educational Services.

Media technician jobs at all the district’s elementary schools were eliminated last year as part of ongoing budget cuts, effectively closing libraries to younger students. Since that decision, parents, a local church and businesses have worked together to raise upwards of $10,000 to partially restore these jobs and reopen the schools’ libraries.

Natomas Crossroads Church pitched in $3,000 which the Natomas Park Elementary School PTA pledged to match.

H. Allen Hight Elementary School‘s “parent posse” started the movement and raised more than $5,000 on its own. Bannon Creek, Natomas Park, Witter Ranch and Two Rivers elementary schools also collected money being used to fund the two temporary, part-time jobs.

The positions will be filled by laid off employees based on seniority, said Kornblum. Since both positions are only part-time and shared between school sites, library services at the participating elementary schools likely will not compare to those prior to budget cuts.

Kornblum said tonight’s school board decision to reinstate two part-time media technician jobs is the result of hard work and negotiations between parents, school principals and the classified employees’ union with the Natomas school district.

“The hard work and generosity of  parents and community members is greatly appreciated,” school board president Bruce Roberts said. “Their efforts help our kids.”

Libraries at American Lakes, Jefferson and Heron schools will remain closed.

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  1. Although this sounds like a great thing, it is more hype than substance. With the internet readily available and two community libraries within walking/biking distance of most schools, the concept of a school library does not mean the same thing it did back when most of us went to school.

    My daughter is an avid reader and when her school’s library was open last year, most of the time they did not have the books that she was interested in, She now has her own library card and we frequent the North Natomas Library at least weekly.

    Spending thousands of dollars to reopen a library on a very limited basis does not make sense and is not the best use for the money. In this day and age re-hiring a Computer Tech to open up the computer labs makes more sense . . . or hiring a part-time Health Aid would make more sense in securing the health and safety of our children.

    Reopening the librarines may get huge press but is not the greatest need of the schools.

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