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A Nation without School Librarians: Shonda’s crisis map

I’ve seen maps of devastation before–earthquakes, the spread of AIDS, hunger.  

Shonda Brisco decided to visualize another type of crisis–a crisis for learners–yesterday when she shared her Google Map, A Nation without School Librarians.

She wrote to LM_NET:

I REALLY hate to even propose this type of project, but I think it’s important to do this in order to get a visual clue (because SOME individuals need pictures in order to see the impact of poor choices) of WHERE school librarians are being eliminated/cut/fired from school districts.

You are invited to participate in A Nation Without School Librarians: A Collaborative Map Experience using Google Maps.  The link to add YOUR location to the map is listed below.  As you or others know about school districts, cities, towns, or communities eliminating school librarians from their faculty, please ADD a "Google Pin/Locator" on the map and add any content that might be of interest to others.

As these school districts move forward without school librarians in place, let us return to the MAP to see the results of future test scores without librarians there to make a positive and successful impact to student achievement.

In the map’s color code system, blue push-pins represent schools or districts where librarians have already been eliminated.  Red push pins represent warnings, schools or districts with pending emergencies.  The comments have lots of room for back stories. 

Shonda invites us to collaborate and share this map broadly.

But, if you share, I believe you MUST share the impacts, not just the event.  This map should NOT represent the license to follow what appears to be a trend. 

Please note: this blogging software would not allow me to embed a dynamic map, but you can include the code on your publications:

<iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=";msa=0&amp;msid=117551670433142326244.000482bb91ce51be5802b&amp;ll=60.509708,-16.611328&amp;spn=55.27888,-145.019532&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href=";msa=0&amp;msid=117551670433142326244.000482bb91ce51be5802b&amp;ll=60.509708,-16.611328&amp;spn=55.27888,-145.019532&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">A Nation Without School Librarians</a> in a larger map</small>

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Jo-Anne Gibson says:

    As president of the Manitoba School Library Association in Canada, I think it’s imperative that our association stands firmly behind our members whose high school teacher-librarian positions were recently cut by their board. We must do a better job of educating school trustees, administrators and parents the vital role teacher-librarians play in the day-to-day education of our children. If they knew the statistics linking quality school libraries with qualified teacher-librarians and student achievement, I’m certain that they could live with themselves if they let any teacher-librarians “go.” Thanks for sharing the map and letting it serve as a wake-up call to educators and parents around the world that the education of our children will suffer without these highly skilled teachers in our schools.

  2. Jo-Anne Gibson says:

    Please add the word “not” in my previous comment regarding the following sentence: “If they knew the statistics linking quality school libraries with qualified teacher-librarians and student achievement, I’m certain that they could not live with themselves if they let any teacher-librarians “go.” Must learn to proofread my work before hitting the submit button!

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