Daniel Rong, Special Correspondent
Two years ago, it seemed like it hardly existed. Now, it’s an integral part of Holliston High School. Available to anyone in the school, it provides a place for students to hang out and gives both students and staff access to books, resources, and computers.
Once nearly empty of students, the library is now used by students all the time for a variety of reasons. During the morning or DSB (Directed Study Block), the library can be seen full of people in every corner using the computers, working on homework or other school assignments, or just hanging around and chatting with their friends.
Sophomore Caylee Woods goes to the library almost every day, usually to read or work on projects, and checks out books around twice a week.
Junior Ariel Holman uses the library mostly to hang out, use the computers, or do homework. “I go every so often, maybe once or twice a week after school or during lunch,” said Holman. “I like the amount of space to work, I can almost always find a place to squeeze myself in.” She added that she tends to work on homework in the library or in class more often than at home.
Ms. Eagle, the school librarian, is responsible for maintaining the 9,765 books and other materials in the library, managing classes who need to use the library, and creating and maintaining the school library’s website. She says that she envisions the library serving the students and faculty with “information needs of all kinds,” whether it is for school projects or for leisure and entertainment.
In Ms. Eagle’s opinion, the school library is “pretty good” in terms of accessibility, but the online portion could use some work. The library catalog is currently unavailable outside of school, something which she hopes to improve.
To make the library more appealing to students, Ms. Eagle has added a lot of new books, such as those that cater to young adults, including graphic novels and manga. She plans to have a new library catalog that can be accessed from home, as well as adding e-books and audiobooks to the library.
Naturally, Ms. Eagle encourages students to read often. She reminds students that there are many different types of reading material and also different types of readers.
Holman used to not check out books too often, but said that “recently I’ve been taking out a lot more,” usually because friends recommended them to her.
The policies for going to the library during DSB have changed on occasion. Last year, anyone could go up to Ms. Eagle and ask for a library pass to DSB that day. As going to the library was very popular, this almost always caused all the passes to be used up before first period had started.
Because the policy resulted in too many kids entering the library at once, causing management issues, the policy was changed this year. Now, library visits during DSB are more restricted, with each teacher able to give two passes to the first two students who ask for them at the start of DSB. Unfortunately, students tend to dislike this change.
“I don’t really like [the new DSB policy]. Some kids have to go to the library for actual work, and others just use it to play games,” said Woods. She prefers last year’s policy, as it allowed her to visit the library more often.
According to Ms. Eagle, the behavior of students in the library is “pretty good.” She feels that in general, people are respectful and she does not feel like a disciplinarian. However, she has sometimes seen trash left in between computers and other areas, which she obviously dislikes.
As accessible as the library is, it does have to be closed on occasion due to events such as standardized testing in the library or faculty meetings after school. Opinions on this have varied.
“It’s OK, but harder at the end of the year because students need it for finals and projects,” said Woods.
“I hate it since there’s nowhere to go,” said Holman. However, she added that it sometimes just “has to be done,” especially when it is due to standardized testing.
Ms. Eagle said that she enjoys working with teenagers, and describes them as “unpredictable” and “delightful,” partly because this is the “turning point in [their] lifetime” when they “decide who they’re going to be.” About her job, Ms. Eagle said, “It combines my two favorite things: books and teenagers. I love it; it’s the best job ever.”
With all of the improvements made to the library over the past two years, it has definitely become a place worth visiting.