News & Politics

DC Public School Librarians Staged a Silent “Read In” Protest to Save Their Jobs

It happened outside Mayor Bowser's office in downtown DC.

Photograph via iStock.

Yesterday morning, a group of DC Public Schools (DCPS) librarians gathered outside downtown DC’s John A. Wilson building, where Mayor Muriel Bowser has an office, for a protest. But shhhh—instead of marching with signs, the group took a different approach. At the “read in,” each one grabbed a book and read in silence. 

The protest had two main goals: one was to appeal to the DC Council to help improve the literacy rates of students by reducing class sizes and using collaborative teaching models. The other was to save their jobs. For the 2021/2022 school year, DCPS is recommending— but does not require—that each school has a librarian. The decision to allocate the budget towards a librarian’s position is up to each individual school’s principal. The librarians hope that a portion of DC’s $14 million in federal stimulus money will help them.

So far, the protest has been supported by the Washington Teacher’s Union, who advocated for “sustainable investments” to improve student literacy levels. A group called EveryLibrary is also showing support with a petition, noting that funding towards DC schools actually increased in the past year.