The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

JAHS Library gets the ultimate update

A+few+books+lined+up+on+the+new+middle+selfs+inside+the+library.+
Caitlyn Feay
A few books lined up on the new middle selfs inside the library.

The Jonathan Alder High School Library received a stunning update over the summer. While most changes are ones people can see, there was much more happening behind the scenes.

Librarian Dana Wright has worked at Jonathan Alder for 34 years. She has been a district librarian for 17, and she was integral to the changes not just at the high school library, but at libraries throughout the district.

Wright talks about how happy she is due to the change. “What I like about this library is that it has a very college feel to it. We’ve set it up to where we have a lecture side, and a soft-seating side. And pretty much everything is mobile,” Wright says. “We still have a few things, and there were a few mistakes… but we are pretty happy.”

The idea was inspired by a conversation Wright had with one of her old colleagues.

“A couple of years ago when Doctor Swanger was here, she approached me that there was money set aside to update all the libraries in the district,” Wright says. “[Mrs. Conley, the other librarian in the district, and I] took several months and went and looked at a lot of libraries and visited many people and then we settled on a vendor.”

Wright mentions how happy she is now too since it helps students a lot more now.

“Students for sure [are benefiting from the update.] More students are coming through. Now, we can also offer them more than what we were able to.”

Sophomore Kate-Lynn Billington also thinks that this new setup affects students positively. “The furniture is newer, so it makes me and others feel more comfortable when sitting in there. It doesn’t look like you’re sitting in a school anymore.”

Teachers can also benefit from this too, says Wright. “I think teachers really like the mobility of it all. It’s opened the space up for more kinds of activities. It’s easy to set up stations, and really it’s just a better teaching and learning center.”

Billington also similarly says that it looks a lot more than just a regular library. “[the library] not looking like a generic school one is nice. A lot of people don’t like the look of a normal school library, so now that it has changed, more students like it since it looks nicer.”

Wright also talked about how the space is getting used more often now. “We now have more classes used in the library. Teachers and students alike find it so much more efficient, and that is what we were going for… We have so much more room. It feels like it was worth all the time.”

Billington proves that Wright was correct, as she has used the library now a lot more. “I’ve been down there [in the library] three or four times [already] this year, and it was only one or two times last year.”

This change wasn’t a fast one; it took a long time to finally execute. “It was a two-year process, but there were five buildings, not just this one,” Wright says. “We had to pick out every little thing, and once we would get something picked out, the colors would change and it was frustrating at times, but it was really worth it.”

Wright wasn’t alone during this process, as she had to go through many other steps in order for this to fully become executed.

“We have to go through the treasurer, and financially I had to go through a lot of approval, but myself and Mrs. Conley made all of the design decisions. They just let us be the experts that we are,” says Wright. “It was greatly appreciated. They trusted us to pick everything out. We showed the principals our final layout and colors, and they all loved what we did. We had to get a final approval on everything, but they mostly just trusted us and supported us, and encouraged us. They were all really great.”

While going through the process, they did have a few setbacks from things they couldn’t control, but everybody stepped up.

“We changed administrations in the process of this. So that had set us back, but it moved us forward. They supported us equally and it couldn’t have been easier. We did kind of have to get things approved again financially, but that is really where our principals stepped in and supported us. They were instrumental in telling the administration on ‘oh yeah we want this’ and ‘we need this.’ It couldn’t have gone smoother.”

Although she’s overall happy with how things turned out, Wright would wish for one more thing. “I would have loved to have a little more technology. I wanted three screens total hung. That’s really all, and that can happen down the road. We were running out of money, and we didn’t want to spend it all here, we wanted to help out the students everywhere.”

Wright’s favorite part is the new tables, which are white boards that allow students to write on them. It’s something she had wanted and was excited to have this option. “I love sketchnoting, so I just love having those new tables to write on. I love it all, but I really am happy with that.”

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About the Contributor
Caitlyn Feay, Staff Writer, Editor
Caitlyn Feay is a junior and this is her third year in journalism. Caitlyn is also an editor. Outside of school, Caitlyn is in our High School treble choir. She enjoys playing and watching many sports. She plans on attending college to study either sports journalism or hospitality. Caitlyn would describe herself as geeky or preppy, which sums up her style well. She is excited to write more sports related content this year.

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