Tucson librarian honored with national award to be laid off

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Thursday a Tucson Middle school received a prestigous honor from a National Library Association.

But the news was bitter sweet for the school and the librarian.

School libraries are still a happening place in today's schools.

"Libraries are being used more than ever," said President of the American Association of Schools Libraries, Nancy Everhart.

Even with the invention of the internet, kids are still utilizing it's utilities.  And Thursday Utterback Middle School was recognized for how well they do it.

"They have programs that serve every student in the school," said Everhart.

And one of the reasons Utterback was regonized as outstanding by the Teacher Librarian divsion of Arizona Library Association is Jerri Blackman, the school's librarian.

"Middle school kids are fun. Middle school kids are the best," said Blackman.

Jerri has worked as the librarian for little over a decade.

"The kids are why it's fun to get up and come to work in the morning," said Blackman.

But soon she wont be getting up in the morning to come to Utterback due to budgets cuts Jerri being laid off at the end of the school year.

"It's absolutely a bitter sweet time for me.  Utterback has been my home for 11 years.  Its hard, its hard to move on," said Blackman.  "The reality is that budgets are hurting."

Blackman says she'll enjoy the days that remain before she leaves . But jerri says this isn't the final chapter and she hopes times get better so schools don't suffer.

"It is a sad time in education," said Blackman.

Jerri says she has applied to other librarian postings around the city.

The school will replace her with a library assistant. A job that requires less education than a full-time librarian.