Burbank's elementary schools will no longer be able to rely on volunteers to work at libraries that lack a staff librarian, putting an already anemic system further into limbo.
Due to deep cuts to education funding in recent years, Burbank Unified officials did away with the library assistants or clerks who once worked full time at all elementary schools.
Schools who couldn't afford to pay for an assistant turned to parent volunteers or teachers to assist students to check out books. Others rely on federal grants. The library at Jefferson Elementary pays for its assistant this year with money earned at its book fair.
Three Burbank schools — Disney, Edison and Emerson — have shuttered their libraries all together. Stevenson's library remains open, but children are unable to check out books.
On Thursday, Burbank Supt. Jan Britz proposed hiring 11 library assistants to work three hours per day at a total cost of $126,500. Her proposal was spurred by a memo sent by Mary Hyman, who is president of the district's classified employees union.