The Cider Mill Library needs an aide. It really needs two, but one qualified person is a start. Many items have been cut from the education budget that deserve attention but, for the moment, let’s focus on the Cider Mill library.
Volunteers enjoy their time in the library. During many of our one-and-a-half-hour shifts, we see nearly 75 children: three classes plus visits from children not in the scheduled classes. Volunteers spend time learning how to use the new computerized system, to check out/check in books, to create bar codes for the books, to create bar codes for the children, to fix the books, to enter periodicals into the system, etc. The responsibilities are many and we are glad to have had an opportunity to learn such skills. Parent volunteers, however, should be a supplement to the system, not a replacement for a qualified library aide.
There are currently two librarians working at Cider Mill and their time is occupied with teaching. All library functions, other than teaching, are done by volunteers. New books languish in boxes because there is no aide to enter them into the system. Old books are taken out of circulation, awaiting repair. Sometimes, if there is no volunteer on duty, the children can’t check out books. The librarians are educating our children on the Dewey Decimal System, yet the shelves are often in disarray.
This is not an efficient way to run a school library. Our children deserve better.
The BOE budget for 2010-2011 had $29,553 allotted for a library aide for Cider Mill. This year, the BOE budget for 2011-2012 has $26,885 allotted for a Library Aide. Yet, for the last two years there has been no one in that position. Where is that money and why isn’t it being used as designated?
The BOE announced earlier this semester that there is a surplus in the budget. It is time to start putting back at least some of the items that have been eliminated from the budget. Let’s start by hiring an aide for the Cider Mill Library.
-Cider Mill Library Volunteers
Danielle DeCrette (author)