Library: Checked out


Esmeralda Flores

Students converse during third period in the library while others work on the computer. In order to be in the library if in study hall, students need a library pass that can be picked up at the beginning of the day.

The upping of technology use within classrooms through iPads caused a transformation in the library into an area for students to hang out during off periods, rather than a quiet place of study. However the school librarian, Ruth Thoreson, and other students believe that libraries are not a thing of the past and are still useful to it’s visitors today.

The reason for this statement is that Thoreson believes the library changes to fit the needs of the people it serves and since the library adapts with the years it will never become obsolete. “Anyone can get information from the internet but to get good information takes skill,” she said. “The library can help students find good quality resources and not just the fastest [method].”

Yet the amount of items checked out has decreased in the past three years. The library checked out 2,512 items from 2013-14; 1,279 items from 2014-15 and a total of 1,015 items so far this school year.

Senior Loyal Ulm has taken advantage of the information the library provides before. Ulm has used books provided by the library for different projects throughout her high school career. Although most of the books she checks out are for fun and not academics. “I don’t like reading online,” Ulm said. “I find myself skimming a lot when I’m not holding a book.”

Students use the library for a number of things. Some go to the library to print off papers or use a computer to work while others use the library to study and work on homework. “We provide materials for people that might not have the opportunity to get to a public library or they might not have resources at home,” Thoreson said.

For Ulm the library has been a place where she can complete tasks unable to be done at home. “I live far [away] from both [the Johnston and Urbandale public] libraries,” she said. “I’m here everyday and that way it’s easier.”

Students can go to the library during study hall if they have a library pass. The passes can be checked out before school in the library, but only ten passes are available per period so many students wait outside in the morning. The library also offers both ebooks and paper books to students, as well as offer SD cards that can be checked out and used for school projects.

The items that have been checked out the most are camera equipment and library passes. The amount of books checked out last year fluctuated between 50 and a couple hundred depending on the month.


The new high school will feature six common areas and three courtyards for students to use to study and work according to principle Ryan Woods.