You Shall Not Pass!


Photo By: Brookelyn Shantler

While the study hall library passes are an exciting addition to school security, you must surrender your pass to one of the librarians once you’ve signed into study hall.

Brookelyn Shantler, Editor-in-Chief

A new library pass policy was put into place as spirit week came to a close. The new pass system is for students who want to sit in the library during study hall only. During class, students are still able to go to the library with a pass from a teacher or counselor. Students are also welcome to come to the library without a pass before school starting at 8, during TAB, during lunch, and after school until 4:15. If students intend on going to the library during study hall, they must pick up a pass from the library before their study hall.  Students can do this at 3:50 the day before their study hall and up until the final bell rings for their study hall.

This system is certainly an adjustment. As librarian, Paula Archey explained, “We work hard to create a positive and welcoming environment in the library where students and teachers can feel safe and seen. This year, we’ve had an increase in safety and interpersonal issues as well as increased incidents of defacing of library property. We implemented the pass system in order to keep better track of library users so we can maintain the positivity and safety we work so hard to foster.”

While the idea of this pass system was primarily inspired by  a similar system at Albemarle High School, many other high schools around the country also enforce a pass system. To adapt the system for Western, Melissa Techman and Archey met with the librarians at AHS. After their meeting, they took their newfound knowledge back to Western and partnered with an instructional coach to find an effective route for our school.

The WAHS librarians later met with Dr. McLaughlin to get his input and his permission to go forward with the plan. Once approved, the new system was advertised around the school  with posters, flyers, morning announcements, video announcements, and by word of mouth.

The library attempted to use less drastic measures before implementing this system, but some administrators, such as Coach Bickers, prefer the pass system for study hall.

“I think it’s easier and more efficient way to get you guys up there because we put the list out early and I don’t have to make a copy and send it up to the library,” Bickers said, “They’ve got everything coded, we’ve come into the 21st century!”

Considering high school is overflowing with creatures of habit, feedback is destined to be given. Teachers who have spoken directly with the librarians have tended to offer very positive feedback. However, some students have communicated that other teachers, who prefer not to come to the library directly, dislike the system.

Student feedback has been mixed, as most students shared that they don’t like the system because they don’t like having to plan ahead in order to obtain the pass.

While the library is a hustling and bustling place, WAHS Squad always seems to be looming in the background, observing the current library happenings.

“It’s 100% quieter and the only people that come up here are the ones who actually want to study, so that’s pretty nice!” WAHS Squad President Sydney Dell said.

Any new process requires  trial and error, and inevitably, changes will have to be made. Thanks to the feedback given, several changes, including removing the requirement of passes for printing, and replacing bathroom passes with a sign-out/sign-in sheet, have been made.

As students and teachers of WAHS continue to provide more feedback and gain more experience with the system, the library intends to make adjustments as needed.