Classroom technology has been a popular topic among Scottsdale school administrators lately. But officials were touting a more low-tech need Tuesday — new library books.
Restocking libraries was a recurring theme through the Scottsdale Unified School District governing board meeting, as officials discussed both next year’s budget and two possible budget overrides for the November ballot.
Board president Karen Beckvar said the need for new library books was evident during a Tuesday night community meeting on the potential overrides: a $12 maintenance and operation override renewal and a $63.9 million capital override.
“When (librarians) said the average age — the copyright on our library books — was 1989, I found that a little disturbing,” Beckvar said.
Administrators agree library books are a “critical need,” said Dave Peterson, assistant superintendent of operations.
The $162.1 million draft of the 2007-08 budget, which was presented Tuesday, allocates $100,000 for library books, district spokeswoman Marijke Van Fleet said Wednesday.
Using this year’s enrollment figures, that would mean a little more than $3 per student for library books.
There was $4 per student for new library books in this year’s budget, Peterson said at the meeting.
No money was allocated for books the year before that, Peterson said.
There was $8 per student for books in 2004-05 and $13 in 2003-04, he added.
The declining amount of money for books came as a surprise to board member Molly Holzer, who said the year when no money was given is especially “unacceptable.”
“I want to see books in students’ hands,” she said.