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Letter of Concern sent to Pembina Trails School Division

Posted in Advocacy

February 19, 2024

To the Board of Trustees of the Pembina Trails School Division:

The Manitoba Library Association (MLA) would like to address concerns in relation to the 2024-25 draft budget proposed for the school division.

In the “Draft Budget 2024/25 At A Glance” document it is stated that the Division’s Board has added 58.5 FTE teaching positions. However, the additional FTE positions have come by redeploying “internal resources” into classrooms, which includes redeploying middle years and senior years teacher-librarians.

MLA recognizes that the Pembina Trails School Division finds itself, alongside many other school divisions throughout Manitoba, in a difficult financial position due to years of inadequate provincial funding and imposed restrictions for raising revenue through local property taxation rates. However, the MLA is concerned that in deciding to redeploy teacher-librarians into classrooms, many of whom only work part-time or half-time hours, that student access to needed library resources and services will be adversely affected.

The teacher-librarian role in schools is crucial for student success as this specialized role provides schools with a trained staff member who is effectively able to manage curriculum-supported materials within the respective library space and who is able to provide direct supports in the form of reader’s advisory services, information literacy training, and fostering research and information technology skills.

The MLA strongly encourages the Division to reconsider the redeployment of teacher-librarians into classrooms, as we believe this decision will only create negative outcomes for students by depriving them of access to needed library resources and services.

Richard Bee, MLIS
Manitoba Library Association
Director-at-Large, Advocacy