LANSING, Mich. (March 5, 2024) — Citing the need for more school libraries and librarians to help improve literacy outcomes for Michigan students, Sens. Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton) and Rosemary Bayer (D-West Bloomfield) introduced a package of bills today that would require a library staffed by a certified school librarian in every school district in Michigan.

“This is an issue I’ve been working on for years, and equity for school libraries and librarians remains an issue in our state. Michigan is 46th in the nation in school library staffing and our reading scores remain low,” said Sen. Camilleri, a former teacher in a school that did not have a library available to students. “If we want to help improve literacy outcomes, we need to help all students have the resources they need to succeed including grade-level-aligned texts and knowledgeable, accessible school librarians — no matter what school they go to or where they live.”

“Librarians play a vital role in our education system,” said Sen. Bayer. “This legislation will ensure every student has access to the valuable services and information our school librarians provide. In today’s age of digital misinformation our librarians help students ascertain fact from fiction and the importance of checking sources. They are providing our students with skills they will use every day.”

The full package includes the following bills:

  • Senate Bill 741 (Camilleri): Requires every school district in Michigan to offer a library that is accessible to students and offers resources in both electronic and print form; 

  • Senate Bill 742 (Camilleri): Requires a school district board to employ at least one certified school librarian for each school library operated by that district. This includes different requirements for different-sized districts, ensuring that small, rural school districts would not be unduly burdened by this legislation; and 
  • Senate Bill 743 (Bayer): Requires a principal or other appropriate administrator to designate an individual to supervise students in a school library when a certified media specialist is not present.

These bills now advance to the Senate Committee on Education.