Spat in Racine Over Removal of School Library Books

Jul 24, 2014

School librarians in Racine are upset because the district orchestrated the removal of thousands of books from school libraries.

School libraries regularly cull their collections, getting rid of ragged books and those students don't need.

The librarians usually direct the updating of collections because as Licensed Media Specialists, they’re trained in best practices, but in a couple schools this summer, other workers did it.

Librarians complained to Tom Fineran, interim head of their union, the Racine Education Association.

“The librarians were unaware that the weeding process was going on until it started happening. There were rumors, and then the librarians went to the buildings where they were going to start in the fall, and saw that the weeding process was either underway or it had been finished,” Fineran says.

The Racine Unified School District has not returned multiple calls to share its side of the story, but there are indications the two sides may soon talk.

Fineran says some books were destroyed, but others remain boxed up.

The union demands the weeding stop, until librarians take charge and decide whether to put any books back on the shelves.