The Humboldt Unified School District lost its only certified librarian in May with the retirement of Dawn Neveau. It will not replace her with a certified librarian, but instead will create two new library coordinator positions, saving the district $37,919.
The classified library assistant positions already exist on school campuses, but two aides will become "library coordinators" with additional responsibilities and a stipend of $1,600 each, per year. Their classification will go from a 5 to a 7 on the classified wage schedule. All library assistants will increase their employment by five extra workdays.
One library coordinator will work at Bradshaw Mountain High School and the other will have a home school, plus be responsible for five elementary, two middle, and Liberty Traditional K-8 schools as the "go to" person.
"The two positions have very different functions," said Human Resource Director Dan Streeter.
The high school library works within the Yavapai Library Network system and also maintains the textbook inventories. The other schools work on the Destiny system, Streeter said.
In March 2010, the governing board eliminated certified librarians at all but the high school in order to reduce the budget by about $200,000. It left the sole certified librarian at the high school in order to meet accreditation requirements.
"Due to increased budget concerns across the country, AdvancED has removed the accreditation requirement for having a certified librarian at the secondary level," Streeter said in his memo to the board.
School principals, librarian assistants and administration met and agreed on the recommendation.
Board President Rich Adler said he remembered when the board struggled with the issue of cutting certified librarian positions three years ago.
"We understood the severity of that decision," he said, adding that it was the lesser of several suggested cuts. "What I like about this is that the stakeholders were involved."
Board member Suzie Roth proposed a re-evaluation of the board's 4-0 approval of the motion when the district is better off financially and can bring back certified librarians to the schools.
By not filling the $45,000 certified librarian position, and adding $3,200 for the two positions, and the five extra workdays for all library assistants, the district's savings are $37,919.