Schools budget looks to improve libraries

Charleston County school libraries often are often filled with out-of-date books, others are low on books all together. The school board is hoping to fix that, by adding $2 million to next school year's budget for media centers to buy books, as well $2.2 million a year for the next five years for general improvements in quality and technology.

From The Post and Courier:

The quality of school libraries is a serious problem that district leaders have recognized and addressed in next year's budget. The school board last week approved a proposal to infuse its media centers with a one-time, $2 million allocation to buy books and an additional $2.2 million per year for the next five years for more media center improvements, such as adding computers, Smartboards, laminating equipment, printers and broadcast production equipment. Students should see the new books as soon as this coming school year.

"Media centers should be the essential piece, the heart of every school," said Connie Dopierala, the district's interim team associate for library and media services. Now that schools will have the materials they need, "it's going to make the lifeblood of schools move a lot faster."

The P&C also reported on a state study that found that the average age of books in the Charleston County School District was 17 years. But that's nothing: There are some book collections in the state that average 38 years old, the study said.

Obviously this is a welcome and necessary improvement for Charleston County schools if they want to remain competitive academically, not to mention the general benefits of more books and more advanced technology.

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