BY RYAN MERARD
The library is one of the most essential features in any school, especially for students who may not have sufficient access to technology or other educational materials at home. However, the media center at CCHS sometimes doesn’t give these students the chance to utilize its resources on a consistent basis.
One main concern about the school’s library is how frequently it’s closed. Before school, one may consider it lucky to find the library open. Some students feel as if they cannot rely on the media center to print out work because there is not enough consistency in its accessibility.
“A lot of the times I try to print something out before school, the library is closed, so now I just ask a friend to print what I need for me like a day before,” junior Kyle Grossman said. “It’s like you have to pray for it to be open sometimes—you can’t really depend on it.”
Over the past few months, the School Advisory Council (SAC) has been brainstorming ideas to make the library more available for both students and staff. Recently, they have agreed to reach this goal by paying teachers to staff the media center for extra hours when media specialist Marti Aylsworth is not able to.
Previously, the library would be open 25 minutes before school and after school only for special occasions such as meetings or tutoring sessions. With the SAC’s new plan now in effect, the library will be open as soon as students are allowed on campus at 7 a.m and will close at 3:30 p.m.
“Students should be able to expect the library to be available for them on a daily basis.”
This idea does not only benefit students. Many teachers are pleased with this approach as well because it allows them to have more access to the necessary resources in the library, such as the copy and Scantron machines, along with the printers after school.
“Us teachers need access to those machines in the media center, especially [those] in the 3400 building,” social studies teacher Maria Rodriguez said. “If everything works out well, I probably won’t have to use my personalization time to print out files and instead go after school, so I could [instead] use that time to grade more papers.”
Four teachers along with Aylsworth are currently on a rotating schedule to staff the library before and after school hours. These teachers are Wendy Schauben, Fallan Patterson, Jacquline Selan and Debra Mensinger.
Every year, CCHS is given accountability funds by Florida totaling $6,000. The advisory council is responsible for determining how these funds will be used. This year, the council chose to use this financing to add extra staff to the media center. The council believed that paying teachers to keep the library open was the best way to ensure the availability of its resources for everybody on campus, at any time.
“I believed that adding more staff to the [media center] and helping Ms. Aylsworth out with the library was the best way to use the accountability funds given to us,” Behavioral Specialist Dwayne Dixon said. “Students should be able to expect the library to be available for them on a daily basis.”
Photo by Sydney Katz