The  education department in New Brunswick is facing massive cuts. The cuts have included a decrease in the budget for school librarians.

Librarians are seemingly an old fashioned concept, like gym teachers or guidance counselors.

Tragically, at the same time that the province is cutting the education budget,  parents of grade nine students in our local high school are being offered  notebook computers in a provincially funded experiment to see if students will be more engaged with their studies if they can track it in their computers and save their projects in cyberspace.

The money may be coming from different areas of the budget, but it is a sad day for librarians when a portable computer is more important for learning than a trained research librarian.

In the presentation that was meant to promote the project the parents were told that students in China and India were out numbering us and achieving better scores and achievements.

Aside from the bizarre and questionable use of the comparison,  I have to think that if students in Asia are getting better grades and competing at a higher level, it is not because they have laptops, but possibly because they have more demanding schools, and possibly more discipline in the classroom.

The presentation video concluded with the statement that our students need to keep up with information technology.

In response to that, and speaking for all the outraged parents, I will say that librarians are more necessary than ever, in order to help students sift through all the information on the internet and glean the truth.

And moreover, there is nothing a person over 30 years can teach a young person about social media or comptuer technology that they don’t already know!

So our library sits in the dark as the kids are expected to protect an expensive ball and chain, that will weigh down their backpacks and monitor their every move on the internet.

The way of the future:  we told them,  ‘No thanks’.