Rock Island Cuts Five Librarians For Next Year

Rock Island – 24 hours after Moline’s school board voted to cut 74 teachers, another Quad City school district is gearing up for millions of dollars in budget cuts.

Davenport’s facing four million dollars worth of cuts. Rock Island Public Schools was facing a lot as well. It’s all spelled out in a budget document the district has passed out. One of the groups cut at the schools was its librarians.

At Rock Island High School, some librarians are raising concerns.

“I have done this job for years, and believe me when I say, ‘we’re not in it for the pay,’” librarian Leslie Scharer said. “I do it because I love working with the kids.”

They’re speaking out about their jobs because they are on the chopping block.

“I am disappointed they would think of cutting a reading program like ours because you have to read for anything in your life,” Scharer said.

Books, computers, and kids are all things that will increase per worker since the district cut the librarians. Five librarians were cut from its staff Tuesday night. Each of the librarians sees nearly 500 kids a week.

“Those positions work 25 hours a week,” Superintendent Mike Oberhaus said. “They’d be reduced and share a building, so there’d be one full time librarian for two buildings, and they’d do every other day.”

Some of the librarians spoke their side of the issue after Oberhaus presented his information.

“A house without books is like a room without windows,” Scharer said in reference to a famous quote. “No man has the right to bring up children without books. Children learn to read in the presence of books.”

But unfortunately for Scharer, the board knew it had to cut something. With just the budget cuts to Rock Island’s librarians, the district still had to cut another two million dollars to help meet its budget.

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