by Cynthia Rojas
Pueblo Magnet High School’s wait for our library to open full-time has finally ended. This week, Pueblo’s library will be open to students, as a library assistant has been hired: Mr. Leo Graves.
For the first 15 weeks of this school year, Pueblo students did not have access to the library throughout the entire school day.
“Not having a full-time library goes against common sense regarding education, especially at a time when I desperately needed help researching or looking for a book,” said Julie Harrison, a senior.
Our new principal, Dr. Augustine Romero, was working diligently to ensure students access to their school’s library.
“The district thought we had a set fund for a librarian, but when brought to their attention, they saw that there was no budget for this position,” he said.
Up until this week, some Pueblo teachers served as substitute librarians in the mornings and after school. However, this was little comfort to some who needed access to the library throughout the school day.
Ms. Karen Rimmell, who teaches sophomore and junior English, said, “It is difficult for teachers and students alike to receive the help they needed when it comes to researching a subject for an essay, especially when their time in the library was limited to before and after school.”
Students also were unable to visit the library before the school day to finish work. This frustrated many Pueblo students.
Yasmine Osuna-Saenz, a junior, stated, “For the first quarter and a half, I had to interrupt teachers who have a computer lab in order to finish work I have yet to complete.” She added, “Unfortunately, during this time, students who did not have access to computers at home needed to use a computer in the library—when the computer labs were completely full. To even have an assistant librarian is awesome! Maybe nobody will be stealing books now.”
Mr. Jesus Orduño, Spanish teacher, said, “It is a shame that we could not afford a librarian at Pueblo until now. Throughout my K-12 grade years and all throughout my college years, I have always had a librarian. They were major contributors to my success.”
Not having a librarian for the first 15 weeks of the school year made our library a popular ditching spot, according to parent-mentor Ms. Evelia Lopez, whose office is near the library. She said that students ditched in the library every day and nearly every period.
Dr. Romero said that many students and teachers have vented to him about the hardships of not being able to use the library and is relieved that students and teaches will be able to use this important resource. He added that he is aware that some books have been borrowed or have “walked away”—and he asks those who have taken these books to return them to the library.
Dr. Romero insisted, “There will be a full-time librarian next year—the district will ensure that we have a budget for this much-needed position.”