Even as more school librarians teach increasingly important digital literacy skills, they often become the first casualties of budget crunches, reports the New York Times. Stephanie Rosalia, 54, is part of a growing cadre of 21st-century multimedia specialists who help guide students through the digital ocean of information that confronts them on a daily basis. These new librarians believe that literacy includes, but also exceeds, books. "The days of just reshelving a book are over," said Rosalia, the school librarian at Public School 225, a combined elementary and middle school in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. "Now it is the information age, and that technology has brought out a whole new generation of practices." Some of these new librarians teach children how to develop PowerPoint presentations or create online videos. Others get students to use social networking sites to debate topics from history or comment on classmates’ creative writing. Yet as school librarians increasingly teach students crucial skills needed not only in school, but also on the job and in daily life, they are often the first casualties of school budget crunches. Mesa, the largest school district in Arizona, began phasing out certified librarians from most of its schools last year. In Spokane, Wash., the school district cut back the hours of its librarians in 2007, prompting an outcry among local parents. More than 90 percent of American public schools have libraries, according to federal statistics, but less than two-thirds employ full-time certified librarians…

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