SPOKANE, Wash. — Just under half of the layoffs within Spokane Public Schools are happening outside of the classroom, including support staff such as counselors, nurses and librarians.
On Friday, KREM learned most librarians won't necessarily be without a job but they are being moved out of the library.
SPS spokesperson Brian Coddington said the library model is changing. There will no longer be a traditional librarian to oversee the area. Instead, teachers will take on this role and bring their classes to check-out books and take on library education.
Coddington said all librarians are going back into the building allocation pool for re-assignment back into classrooms to become teachers, except at least two who fell below their level of seniority based off years of service.
Some librarians came to KREM with letters they received letting them know they are losing their jobs come August. One librarian we spoke with said on Thursday her principal read a script word-for-word from the school district.
It said she is not being renewed because of "financial difficulties and uncertainty facing the district and the reduced educational services for the 2019-2020 school year."
Part-time clerks may take on more hours to handle some library operations but SPS would not confirm this.
Some are concerned that students will not get the same experience without a librarian.
The American Association of School Librarians said schools with a full-time position means higher test scores and better academic outcomes.
Librarians said this move by the district tells students that reading is not a priority and that's not the message they want to send.
KREM asked Coddington what the district wants families to know about the library system. He said all libraries are staying open and students will have access like they do now.
Librarians and the Spokane Education Association want state legislators to push for more education funding and help bring the positions back.