Woodbridge School Board President Explains Vote To Fire Librarians

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From the Woodbridge Patch By

“WOODBRIDGE, NJ — The president of the Woodbridge school board talked to Patch Wednesday and defended the board’s unanimous vote last week to eliminate the district’s remaining librarians.

“I will candidly admit I did not anticipate how much backlash there would be on this,” said school board president Daniel Harris. He said the board received “dozens” of emails from people upset with the library changes, many from Woodbridge residents but some from all over the country. About 15 parents attended last Tuesday’s Board of Ed. meeting, causing one Board member to remark that she’d never seen the room so packed.

There are only three librarians left in the Woodbridge school system, and all three are at the high school level. Two have teaching certificates and will be offered teaching jobs in the district, Harris said. At least one librarian will be kept as a traveling librarian between all three high schools, Colonia, JFK and Woodbridge High.

It’s part of dramatic changes ahead for Woodbridge school system’s libraries.

With the librarians gone, Woodbridge school libraries will be transitioned into “a more flexible space for the district,” Harris said. “I don’t want to use the word ‘lounge,’ but it will be a place where students can work on projects together. You’ll see it look more like a college library, with couches and a coffee-shop style set-up.”

“A lot of the books will be recycled or donated,” he said. “Especially the encyclopedias and atlases, those are very outdated. The more popular books will be sent to classrooms or kept. We’ll probably look into an electronic method of allowing students to borrow books.”

And expect these changes to be happening very soon: The library at Colonia Middle School will be converted into a computer lab this summer. The new look for the district’s libraries will be in place by the time students return in the fall.”

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