A highlight of Caroline Boggs' career as a school librarian is helping students who struggle with reading.

A recent example was a boy with dyslexia who struggled and, therefore, hated to read - but after spending time with the Avondale Intermediate School's librarian was now making his way through a 300-word book.

But from today students like this boy will miss out because the Auckland school has decided to make Mrs Boggs redundant to save money.

"The principal met with us and said 'look we are going to have to cut $20,000 out of our operating budget and we are looking at cutting hours so we are going to do a review'.


"At the end she decided teacher aids were important, we have got to have our lawns mown, we still have to have somebody answering the phones and looking after the first-aid room."

That left Mrs Boggs' position as sole librarian, a job she's been doing since 2009 but finished yesterday after being made redundant.

Mrs Boggs was responsible for buying and cataloguing books and resources, training student librarians and teaching students library skills and how to search for things online.

"A lot of the children have no idea what they are looking for so I give them some direction."

Sometimes that's helping them find books they enjoy, other times it's encouraging students to read - especially ones who don't have any books at home.

Since 2009 she has catalogued 4033 items and the number of books issued has nearly doubled from just over 4200 in 2008 to 8083 this year.

She believes her role, which sometimes included dressing up as book characters to help inspire students, is valuable and one the school cannot do without - but it's been difficult getting that message across.

"In a way a lot of what I do is support and there is less visible record of my achievements.

"How can we point out that [I] am working with this young man who is dyslexic who is actually improving his reading level - it's not as definable as that." Yesterday at the school, management staff referred all queries about the library to principal Pauline Cornwell who did not return calls.

Mrs Boggs, whose husband is also out of work, now hopes to find a new job at another school.

But she fears for the future of libraries if schools are forced to keep cutting costs.

"My feeling, I'm seeing that school libraries are threatened.

"I firmly believe that school libraries are still relevant no matter what happens."

Cambridge High School got rid of its school library several years ago and planned to open a cyber cafe after the then principal Alison Annan said students were not using the building and did most of their research online.

It was eventually reinstated with much excitement from the school community.

Education Minister Anne Tolley said schools were able to determine their own priorities for spending.

"Schools receive operational funding which they can use for libraries - as can their property funding - and individual boards of trustees make decisions on how this money is spent, on behalf of their community."