School Library Budgets Down in Colorado: Print Collections Suffer

The annual Colorado School Library Survey shows that annual operating expenditures in school libraries decreased in 2002. Expenditures per student benchmarks for the state were also down. This is a troubling trend in light of studies like Colorado’s How School Librarians Help Kids Achieve Standards (2000) that have shown strong school libraries contribute measurably to student achievement.

Total operating expenditures for school libraries in Colorado for the years 1999-2002 are shown in Table 1 (see full report). Totals are extrapolated for the entire state by weighting survey respondent answers. The years 2000 and 2001 showed increases over 1999 expenditures at all but the high school level, but 2002 shows decreases at all levels almost back to the year 2000 totals.

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