Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California

educate administrators to ensure their support is seen in recent guidelines for school library
media programs today (AASL & AECT 1998).
In California, school library advocates expressed similar ideas about the importance of
the school librarian to the overall activities of the school and of the need for the librarian to have
a teaching background. In a 1933 reflection on the growing importance of the librarian in Los
Angeles City schools, Dorsey says, "In time it became apparent that the status of the school
librarian could be improved and stabilized by requiring a more extended preparation which
should include some teacher training as well as that for library work and which should culminate
in teacher-librarian certification" (Los Angeles City School District Librarians, 1933, p. 27). The
superintendent of Los Angeles City schools expands on this idea in his own appreciation of the
demanding nature of a school librarian's role:
If one could secure his ideal for such a position she (the school librarian) would be worth
more salary than any school system can afford to pay. The librarian contacts everybody
in school, both in the student body and in the faculty. She has to be adaptable to all types
of dispositions and all ages...Not only on the personal side are the demands upon the
librarian very heavy. The demands in the way of training and continual self-development
are equally exacting. In order to meet the demands which the continually changing and
expanding curriculum of a modern secondary school puts upon the library, the librarian
herself must be widely informed. This means that in the way of basic general education
she needs more than does any other person in the school...Coupled with even the best of
training there must be, first, a distinct understanding that the library is not a place where
books are kept but where those who need help receive it and receive it promptly...No
novice, either in library work or in teaching, can expect to come into the library of a large
city school and start off with complete success. Undoubtedly, it would be better if the
prospective librarian could have as much as four or five years' experience as a teacher in
a high school or junior high before beginning her library work (Los Angeles City School
District Librarians, 1933, p. 51).
In 1933, in fact, the California state education code reflected an understanding of the necessity
of an education background for school librarians in its credentialing requirements for a school
librarian, which included a four year undergraduate degree; twenty-four hours of training from

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Achterman, Douglas L. Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9800/. Accessed July 25, 2014.