Over the past 30 years, funding for school libraries has plummeted. While the average price of a new library book is $16, the average amount spent by school district per student for books is $6.75 in elementary school, $7.30 in middle school and $6.25 in high school. Direct federal funding for school libraries was eliminated in 1981 and local school districts and states have consistently cut school library funding in order to address more pressing needs.
As a result, many outdated books which were acquired through funding provided under the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act in the mid-1960's are still on the shelf. Many librarians feel obliged to keep outdated books because they cannot afford to replace the books, especially volumes of reference materials, or the school districts do not have the trained staff to weed through the materials.
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