Brace Yourself: SLJ’s school library spending survey

Brace Yourself: SLJ’s school library spending survey shows the hard times aren’t over, and better advocacy is needed

March 1, 2012

Although digital books may be the rage, school libraries have been slow to join the party. About two-thirds of LMCs don’t have any circulating ebooks—ranging from four-fifths of elementary schools to about half of high schools. The difference between the mean (average) and median (the half-way point) was startling: an average 1,277 ebooks, with 1,281 for elementary schools, 763 for middle schools, 1,741 for high schools, with a median of just 50 items. Nevertheless, overall spending for ebooks rose an average of 8% over the previous year, with the greatest gains (around 14%) in high school libraries and in the Northwest and Midwest. Ebook spending was pretty much flat in middle schools, the South, and the West.