New Library Checks In


Madeleine Andrews

Just by walking past the library you can see the raised ceiling and new tiling, and even more noticeably, the absence of the towering bookshelves. The newest change to our building, designed to improve student’s and teacher’s experience at Western, is unfinished but is coming to a close. According to Custodial Supervisor Michael Jackson, the construction in the library began over the summer and is planned to finish towards the end of September.

The idea of transforming the traditional library into a more open learning environment started before the end of last school year, when people from the central office along with some from Western sparked the idea. Principal Darah Bonham said, “When I came in, which was when I was appointed in the end of May, I started getting involved in some of the conversations about trying to spearhead the vision of what [the new library] would look like. Some of it had already launched prior to that.”

Despite the current unfinished state of the library, it is often filled with students seeking an alternative, open area to gather, eat, and work. Junior Kevin O’Shea said, “I hope it will be pretty cool with the new shelves they were talking about, and it seems a lot more lenient on food and coming in and out.  So far, I like it.”

Librarian Melissa Techman described the new features of the library that are completed and yet to come. “Different rooms in the library are also being changed…we are getting a music studio, Makerspace activities are moving into the new tile floor area, and the Makerspace room is going to get a laser cutter. We are also going to turn one of the smaller rooms into a dedicated student quiet zone, for people who really want a quiet study space, or for teachers to work.”

“We want our library here to be student-centered, so that you can come in and find spaces to do things that help you. Now sometimes it’s driven by adults, but I want you guys, and everybody else that needs space to do work, to be able to find areas in the library to meet those needs,” Mr.Bonham said.