Jane Yolen Wrote to LAUSD: reposted here

I received this in my ALA council email. I’m passing it on so people can see what is going on. FYI- this was posted from my phone and I have a lot to say but I don’t want to write it from here.

“I wrote this yesterday, posted it on my FaceBook page with permission to send it verywhere:

Letter to the administrator in charge of firing LA school librarians who had the Board of Ed’s lawyers take the librarians into the school basement and asked them to prove they were teachers with such questions as “Do you take attendance?”.

Dear Mr. Deasy:

As the author of 300 published books (yes, that is not a typo!), many of them winners of the highest awards given for children’s and adult books, I have to commend you for closing libraries. You are turning out the lights in children’s minds. It will make them much easier to recruit as cannon fodder, much easier to move them on conveyor belts, much easier to treat them as cattle.

Of all the people who work in a school, teachers and librarians are the heart and soul of the place. Not administrators. My late husband
was a professor and later on an administrator. You should have heard what he had to say about top-heavy administrations. I suggest you
take the administrators (yourself included) and ask them the same questions the lawyers are asking the librarians in the basement: do YOU take attendance? Do YOU teach in the classroom? Perhaps you should fire the administrators first. And the overpriced lawyers. And when you do, you will no doubt find you have the money to keep the librarians.

And the library.

The ones who turn on lights in children’s minds and guard the flame in their hearts. With or without taking attendance.

Yours very truly and to tell the truth angrily as well,

Jane Yolen

Today I got this letter in return. Blame the system, the budget, the unions. Not my fault. Etc. But who, I wonder, twisted his arm to send the lawyers down into
the basement to interrogate the librarians.

THIS just arrived in my email: Thank you for your email and sharing your thoughts. As you are most likely aware our school district, state, and nation are currently facing a serious budget shortfall. While librarians and library aides are extremely important, there is not an area in the school district that has not been cut. If all Unions agree with the Furlough Agreement, we may be able to rescind notifications.

Thank you,

Patricia Carranza on behalf of
Dr. John E. Deasy, Superintendent
Los Angeles Unified School District
213) 241-7000

Anything more I can do for ALA, just ask.

As ever,

Jane Yolen”

So just so folks know, there’s people
on out side.


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About pcsweeney

Currently, I'm the Branch Manager of the East Palo Alto Library in California. If you find yourself to be extremely bored (and would like to be more bored) you can find all of my internet mind droppings about libraries by googling pcsweeney.
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