Changes in the library


Caroline Quinn

Senior Gillian KolostaneWren checks into the library to study during seventh period. The new checkout system requires students to scan their lanyards when entering and leaving the library instead of filling out check in and check out sheets.

Caroline Quinn, Staff Writer

When a student comes into the library this year, instead of being faced with a sheet to fill out, students now only have to scan their lanyards at a check-in scanner. This new system was brought to the library by the new librarian, Ruth Thoreson.

Until she became the high school librarian, Thoreson was the librarian at Wallace Elementary School after moving from a high school in Nebraska. Thoreson said she is enjoying the transition and has already began making changes, such as the new pass system.

Students used to have to go down to the library to ask for a paper pass to be written each day if they wanted to go to the library. The librarians issued many passes every day for students in study halls and free periods to come to the library. The updated pass system reduces the amount of paper and passes being used. “We have plastic laminated passes that we use that get checked out to the students,” Thoreson said. “When they show up at the library they get checked back in.”

Students agree that the new system is efficient. “It’s easy [to check in and out],” junior Peter Lo said.

Thoreson has also introduced a new electronic check-in and check-out system. “Mr. Paulson wrote a program so that students can scan their lanyard and check in and check out that way,” Thoreson said. “We’ve had a few bugs to work out, but it’s working out really well.”

Junior Mary Boksa says that she likes the new check-in system, as the old system required students to write their names and fill out a row of information on the sign-in sheet at the library’s front desk. “I think it’s more efficient,” Boksa said.

Thoreson estimates that about 30-40 books are checked out per week. Students are not allowed to check out reference books, making most of them unused. “[Reference books] are an area that we won’t invest a lot of money in, because a lot of that stuff gets dated, very quickly,” Thoreson said.

Thoreson is also bringing new print books to the library. “[Getting new print books] will be ongoing throughout the year,” Thoreson said. “I’m working on one cart of books that we’ll be getting out here, hopefully [September 26] even… I’m always looking for suggestions from students on what they like to read.” The order was placed for 244 fiction and nonfiction books.

Part of the reason that there will be an emphasis put on new print books is because Thoreson thinks most students still prefer print books over eBooks. “I think that’s a misconception that people have, that young people like eBooks better,” said Thoreson. “I have had more students tell me that they prefer the print books.”

Junior Kaitlyn Pietan is one of the students that does not like eBooks. “I prefer print books, just because I like having a copy in my hands,” Pietan said. Junior Olivia Goodale says that she also prefers print books.

Some students, such as Boksa, disagree. “I prefer eBooks, I think they’re easier to get access to,” Boksa said.

One thing that Thoreson says she thinks has changed over the years is the amount of time that students spend reading. “I think at the high school level, often [the problem is] time,” Thoreson said. “It’s not that high school students don’t want to read necessarily, it’s that their schedule is so much busier than the elementary [students], and so it is harder for them to find time. I do think that students read less than when I started.”

Thoreson’s overall goal for the library is to get more students coming and checking out books. “Hopefully as we get new titles, that will generate interest, so that will get more people checking out [books],” Thoreson said.