New school year brings new improvements to library

Coffee bar in future plans


photo or infographic by Heather Jackson

IN OPERATION. Students work while relaxing in the newly furnished area. After the new carpet was installed, the library furniture was rearranged to be the most useful and appealing to students.

Books, books and more books. That is what many students envision when thinking of the library. After renovations and a grant from the WISD Educational Foundation, the library is evolving to a place that all students will visit.

The library will now have extended hours for students to relax and collaborate before and after classes. In the past, students were only allowed to visit during classes and lunch, but students have been given more opportunities to work than in years past.

NEW YEAR, NEW BOOKS. The Spanish version of Midnight Sun is just one of the many new editions received over the summer. There are also many new fiction, nonfiction and graphic novels to be chosen from. (photo or infographic by Heather Jackson)

“We’ve had many requests for students to be able to stay and get some work done when school is out. This year, the library will stay open until 3:30,” technology innovation coach Shawn Rhoden said. “Students may come in and read, relax, study, work online or just enjoy hanging out.”

Last year, the library was updated to draw in more students but it did not stop there. The project is still ongoing, and new carpet and paint were added while students and staff were away for summer vacation. 

“I like the fact that it looks more appealing and cozy,” senior Alyssa Medley. “I like the way the books are organized a lot better and it just looks more modern. The furniture is my favorite improvement.”

“Over the summer, the library was painted, received new carpet, new paint on some shelves and the shelving was angled to make it more appealing,” Rhoden said. 

STOP- KOLLABORATE AND LISTEN. A student makes use of the new glass board stations in the library. They can now be used for students and staff to work on group projects. (photo or infographic by Heather Jackson)

The goal of the renovations are to bring in more students, and one of the efforts to accomplish this was the implementation of collaboration spaces. There are now new boards for groups, clubs and staff members to work together in a relaxing environment. 

“The furniture is my favorite thing that has been added, but I have to say, I’m really excited about the Black Glass Boards- #KatsKollaborate,” Rhoden said. “These are for students, teachers and staff to have an area to collaborate and brainstorm.” 

A coffee bar will tentatively be added according to various COVID cases and restrictions within the district. 

“Once it is up and running it will be open when the cafeteria isn’t serving meals,” Rhoden said.

Something the library has always contained is a wide variety of book selections that may get overlooked by passing students. These books are very underrated and can be used for research projects, class assignments and simple enjoyment.    

“We always have the newest books and will always take requests if we don’t have a book someone wants,” Rhoden said.