Urban Public School Libraries and Educational Reform: The Case of the Detroit Public Schools

Document Type



This article explores the implications of school reform on school libraries using the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) as a case study in urban librarianship. A literature review on the role and impact of school librarians in K-12 education is included to help illustrate the role of school libraries in public school reform. Two DPS reforms are selected for closer evaluation: a 2002 district-initiated reform and a 2008 state-mandated reform. The article concludes by offering a list of recommendations to help strengthen DPS reform goals and objectives by utilizing the professional knowledge and resources of school librarians in the district. These recommendations are shaped by the author’s personal and professional experiences as a former school library media specialist in DPS and as a college professor who teaches school and urban librarianship courses.


Library and Information Science


This article was previously published in Urban Public School Libraries, Issue 16.1 (Spring 2010) and is available at http://lacuny.org/ulj/index.php/current-issue/47-issue-161-spring-2010/97-urban-public-school-libraries-and-educational-reform-the-case-of-the-detroit-public-schools-. Copyright Urban Library Journal.