The WHS library is known to be big, busy, and buzzing with conversation. A space imbibed with the spirit of collaboration, it features a wide array of resources such as thousands of books, computers, and a 3D printer. Librarian Alida Hanson and library aides Regina Wong and Danielle Lualdi help support this hub of activity.
According to Hanson, a certified librarian in her seventh year at WHS, librarians fill a wide range of roles from directly supporting students to helping from behind the scenes. Hanson also teaches the freshman Digital Literacy Seminar course in the fall.
“Every day is different. I can decide which books to buy or get rid of, help with technology issues, work with teachers to plan lessons, teach people how to use citations or databases, clean and organize, decorate, and so much more,” Hanson said.
The librarians create a diverse area for learning and creativity, from the physical resources they provide to the spaces for students to work more efficiently.
“We work very hard to really make this a creative, open space for everybody. We want people to feel welcome and utilize what we have to offer,” Wong said.
Senior Michael Martinez expressed the many ways that the librarians have personally helped him in school.
“The librarians are always available with advice, assistance, and whatever a student might need,” Martinez said. “If you see me in the library, I’m always engaging with our librarians. They offer up any resources and books they have that might spark my interest or help me on an upcoming essay.”
The rise of technology at WHS over the past several years has significantly transformed the librarians’ jobs. Lualdi said that one of her responsibilities is to manage the library’s vast collection of resources. Not simply limited to books, it contains a bevy of technology available to students.
“The technology the library primarily circulates is laptops, computer chargers, and headphones,” Lualdi said. “I oversee the loan periods of these items and assist students with meeting due dates and timely returns by generating reminders and processing renewals on our books when requested.”
The library also maintains a 3D printer and a table where all students and teachers can take apart old technology. Junior Thomas Piccione explained how Hanson assists people in the process of 3D printing.
“Assuming you have a model to print that you either found somewhere or made yourself, [Hanson] will slice it–converting it to information the printer can use–and print it out for you,” Piccione said.
With students constantly working and conversing in the library, Hanson, Wong, and Lualdi see students in every mood. The librarians expressed the gratitude they feel for being able to support the students and help them out, whether it’s proofreading a paragraph or just being someone to talk with.
“You see students when they’re in great moods, or not in such a great mood,” Wong said. “I feel very grateful to be in a position where I can help them to have a bit of a better day, and where I can get to know different people.”
All three librarians agree that the best part of their jobs is working with students every day.
“I love working with the students. The students are the best part, hands down. We’re in a unique position here in the library because we get to work with all students regardless of what grade they’re in,” Hanson said. “We can watch students grow through their high school years and we’re always so glad to make a personal connection and help people in any way.”