Houston Independent School District has Empty Libraries

One of the largest school districts in the nation is making the wrong kind of headlines. A number of its libraries have empty shelves, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be changing soon.

The district is strapped for money just like most public school districts around the country. But recently the district invested in classroom libraries to give students greater access to the books they need to be reading. But classroom libraries should not be taking items from regular libraries in middle and high schools. A classroom library is typically a bookshelf. That’s not a library of anything.

My problem with this is it sounds like the district aimed to do something without much of a plan. And now thousands of students are forced to enter libraries every single day that don’t even have the one resource most of us have come to associate with them: books.

To add insult to injury, the school district has a tax proposition on the ballot this year that would send more than $1 billion to the state from the district over the next few years.

Have you EVER walked into a library with bare, empty shelves? I haven’t. These Houston kids aren’t getting a fair educational experience at the moment. And now voters could potentially make it worse by not being aware of the impact of HISD Proposition 1. The whole thing is on the verge of spiraling out of control.

2 thoughts on “Houston Independent School District has Empty Libraries

  1. We have classroom libraries here and they are actually great! They include multiple shelves, and while the actual library may be small, if you add up the sum of all the classroom shelves it equates into so much more than the library itself. As a mother of two (one son with with needs who is not always comfortable going outside of the room for books), I am a huge fan of the “libraries and have found that my children read much more since they have been implemented!

    Granted I am not located in Houston so I am definitely not disputing your post, but I have never seen a classroom library that is one shelf only, nor have we had to deal with empty library shelves (thank goodness). If that is the case, then yes it is horrible 😦 Children must always have access to books! So I believe it is most important to provide ease of access. If that works in the classroom, like it does here, I am a supporter. It sounds like a sad situation in Houston 😦


  2. An empty library feels like a ghost story to me.
    For most of my young life the library was my home away from home. A place I could go to hang out with friends, do research or homework, enjoy some peace and quiet away from a noisy brother. I was comfort food for the soul. Books still are comfort for me, even if they are usually in a different form from my childhood. But an empty library? That makes me want to cry.


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