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Students, Librarians Speak Up For Lack Of Libraries In Phila. Schools

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Librarians in town for a national conference joined Philadelphia public school parents, students and staff, yesterday, to call attention to the lack of libraries in district schools.

Inspired by the historic setting of Philadelphia, the group gathered at the Library Company and signed a "Declaration for the right to libraries." There are just 16 librarians in all 214 district schools-- and two of them are paid by anonymous donors.

American Library Association president Barbara Stripling (right). (Credit: Pat Loeb)

Masterman student Gomian Konneh told the group she's happy her school library reopened with the donation but concerned for those not so lucky.

"In honoring this inherent right, we continue to honor our forefather's efforts in establishing a country with equal opportunity and equal justice for all."

Barbara Stripling of the American Library Association says the declaration is a way to lobby for change.

"To stand up and say, now is the time, we are in a crisis, we need school libraries, we need school librarians and it is our right to stand up and demand that."

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