Loss of Librarians Hurts Literacy Efforts

By Brenda Ortega

MEA Editor

Certified school librarians are an endangered species in Michigan.

Even as politicians have toughened academic standards and passed a strict new third grade reading law, school districts across the state have cut professional library staff to balance budgets under pressure from state per-pupil funding cuts.

Member Spotlight – MEA-Retired member Ruth Westbrook

Little do her Michigan friends know, but MEA-Retired member Ruth Westbrook – who worked at schools in Pontiac, Highland Park, and Troy – has lived out scenes similar to the Academy Award-winning movie Hidden Figures. Westbrook, 76, followed in the footsteps of African-American women depicted in the film, human math computers at NASA who fought segregation and discrimination to build trailblazing careers at the space agency.