Here's the link...but I think you need to be a subscriber so I will copy and paste the article as well! http://mobile.newsday.com/inf/infom...in&feed:c=opinion&feed:i=1.3141330&nopaging=1 Baaden:School librarians are indispensable Updated: Sep 06, 2011 10:43 AM By BEA BAADEN Multiple Page View Bea Baaden is director of the School Media Program for the Palmer School of Library and Information Science at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University in Brookville . As students across Long Island return to school, their teachers and administrators will be operating in a new reality of reduced funding and property tax caps. Thankfully, widespread teacher layoffs have been averted here. But school boards and superintendents face ongoing pressure to serve their students and cut costs at the same time. Understandably, administrators tend to look for savings in those areas where they have the most flexibility. The position of elementary school librarian, for example, is not mandated by the New York State Education Department, the way the position of middle or high school librarian is. But to leave an elementary school without a librarian would be a grave mistake -- it's one of the most cost-effective positions in the school budget. Indeed, the position should be mandated at the elementary level, too. The school librarian is far more than an organizer of books. He or she is a teacher and instructional partner, which is especially important in this time of education reform and heightened concern about student learning. School librarians teach Internet safety to students within the bounds of their curriculum -- rather than using outside, purchased programs that do this out of context of the students' work in school. That is a cost savings to the district, since, of course, librarians teach far more than that. They are the only teachers in the school who are trained to teach social media skills that are imperative for students' everyday lives. From an early age, children need to learn the common etiquette for social media sites and be taught how to evaluate with whom they are communicating. The school librarian is also a teacher of teachers, and works with all staff in the school so that these important skills can be infused throughout the entire curriculum. Like a principal, the librarian serves the needs of all students, staff and the entire educational community of the school. Librarians also bring expertise in teaching 21st-century literacy and technology skills to their schools. They teach lifelong learning skills, including how to figure out what information one needs, where to find it and how to share it; how to obtain information from images and videos; and making the most of print and electronic sources. The latter is particularly important, as students need to learn how to judge the reliability and veracity of different content providers. As a collaborative partner, the school librarian works with classroom teachers to support and co-teach important test-taking skills, such as comprehension, analysis, synthesis and communication of information and ideas from multiple sources and formats. Since the New York State Board of Regents in January adopted new English Language Arts and Literacy learning standards, the school librarian's role is more important than ever. Librarians are especially critical in teaching the research skills needed for college or careers. They are experts in various research strategies in every subject. There's no other teacher in the school who can more effectively teach the College and Career Readiness Standard of "Research to Build and Present Knowledge," an important writing standard for kindergartners through 12th graders for English Language Arts Skills, which will be assessed by New York State in the near future. Everyone understands the ongoing impact of the recession on school districts. But it's hard to imagine a better investment. School librarians teach students to learn, give them confidence for exams, impart skills required in higher education and the workplace, show teachers how to use new educational technologies and, of course, help instill the love of reading that enriches every person's life. They're a bargain for the taxpayer.