- Associated Press - Monday, April 4, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Papillion-La Vista school district has planned to drop some librarians next year, citing budget constraints and a shift in the role of some of the district’s librarians.

The Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1qjY2MF ) reports that officials will cut the number of elementary school librarians from 14 to nine next school year, saving $375,000. Children will be more likely to find a paraprofessional handing library transactions when they go to check out a book.

Papillion-La Vista officials say they made the budget choices to meet parents’ demands for new programs, including middle-school Spanish, which is launching this fall. The district is also assigning several librarians to spend a portion of their time coaching teachers on technology.

Most of the other metro-area districts aren’t planning to cut librarian positions next year. Westside High plans to eliminate one librarian. Some districts, such as Millard, still have one full- time librarian in each elementary school, but others, like Ralston, have librarians cover move than one school, especially at schools would low enrollment.

“In a perfect world, if money was not a factor, would we have a librarian in every school? Absolutely,” said Annette Eyman, a Papillion-La Vista spokeswoman.

Eyman said that the displaced librarians will move to other open jobs in the district.

Currently, 12 of the 15 Papillion-La Vista elementary schools have full-time librarians. The three smallest schools - Anderson Grove, Golden Hills and Prairie Queen - have half-time positions.

Next year, all of the elementary schools will have a part-time librarian. The time spent at each school will be determined by its enrollment. Officials say that paraprofessionals will spend at least 30 hours a week in each library taking care of many of librarians’ duties, such as checking out books.

The Nebraska Department of Education sets rules for how many librarians schools should have based on enrollment.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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