May 23, 2019

Michigan legislators declare a literary crisis—call for more librarians


Following a 2018 report from the Michigan Department of Education showing the majority of third and fourth graders cannot read at grade level, some legislators have declared a literary crisis and are working to make immediate change. 

In a recent interview with WXYZ, State Rep. Darrin Camilleri shared that Michigan is “one of the last ranked states when it comes to student achievement in literacy … There are many ways you can address it, but one of the ways we’re thinking about doing so is expanding library access.”

Matthew Smith of WXYZ reports that “librarians are required to have training in a number of subject areas which give them specialized skills in working on a child’s ability to read, and on teaching computer skills.”

To address the concerns about the lack of librarians in schools, three bills have been released. The bills propose a requirement for schools to hire “library media specialists” based on the number of students enrolled in the school, to have a designated person to fill in when the specialist is not present, and to have resources available for students and teachers in print and electronic form that work to reinforce learning.

I’ve included images of the three bills below because you know all of us at Melville House love when people read primary sources (ahem, The Mueller Report). And while we are on a note about libraries, support your local library. Sarah Jessica Parker is doing it, all the cool kids are doing it. Go libraries.

Christina Cerio is the Manager of Direct Sales & Special Projects at Melville House.