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Behind the Scenes: Library

Sydney C Swanson

Emily Teismann, Contributor

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Picture this. A library with shelves full of books of all kinds, quiet discussions among students sitting at wooden tables, and a few other students curled up with a book or eating their lunch with as much noise as the flutter of a butterfly’s wings. At the head of all this, standing post, is a librarian quietly working on their computer whilst keeping a watchful eye. Have an idea of where this is? Well, let me tell you. It’s Holt’s very own library. Now, there’s two ways to tell this story: Through a student’s point of view or something more sparsely seen, the librarian’s point of view. This time a little light will be shed on that of the librarian’s perspective.

What does your average day in the library look like?

Harmes: No such thing. Variety of things occur like students coming in, presentations, everything.

Lock: There is no average. Every day is different. Day of book talks. Day of presentations. You never know.

Werner: Always crowded in mornings. Last Thursday of the month is Reading Club. A lot of day to day activities like book talks.

What do you do for upcoming holidays?

Harmes: Werner always has a plan. She comes up with creative ideas and all kinds of designs. Since Christmas is coming soon, decorations will be out along with Dewey the library elf.

Lock: We try to do something big every month; 12 Days of Christmas library style in December, Blind Date with a Book in February, and Banned Book Week to name a few.

Werner: Prep and make all the displays. The theme for Halloween was haunted mansion. Christmas plans is coming soon. December will be a good time. Cool display.

How many books have you read?

Harmes: No idea. Too many to count. Been a bookworm since I could read. Read a lot of books.

Lock: No idea. This year I’ve read 97.

Werner: Couldn’t tell yah. I read a lot. Estimate is 86 this year. I don’t like dystopian.

How many have you read in this library?

Harmes: I’ve been here for 10 years. 100s.

Lock: I don’t know.

Werner: Last year, I read 50-55 books. I go to the public library a lot.

Any favorite books?

Harmes: Totally. Brave New World, Flowers for Algernon, Harry Potter series, and The Book Thief.

Lock: My all time favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird.

Werner: Horror. Fantasy. Historical fiction. Currently reading Haunting of Hill House, which is also TV show on Netflix. Good show by the way if you haven’t watched it.

What genre do you enjoy most?

Harmes: Apocalyptic/Dystopian

Lock: Realistic Fiction

Werner: Horror. Loves a good ghost story.

What time of year do you read the most?

Harmes: Summer. The library is very busy. We don’t get to read when working.

Lock: Summer

Werner: During the school year. I’m a  graduate student and during summer, I took full time classes, so I didn’t have a lot of time to read.

How many students typically come in?

Harmes: About 150-200 daily. Not including classes.

Lock: Over 100.

Werner: On average, 100-150. Friday the 2nd, we had 190.

Do you know/recognize most students that come in?

Harmes: Definitely

Lock: Yes

Werner: Yeah

Do you enjoy your days in the library?

Harmes: Absolutely. Best job in the building.

Lock: I love being in the library. I love being around books, seeing kids happy about getting a book.

Werner: I love my job.

What do you enjoy most?

Harmes: Talking to the kids about books. I think it’s really fun. Trying to match a student to the right book is really fun too. I’m a book pusher. Pretty much recommend as many things as possible.

Lock: Getting reluctant readers happy about reading.

Werner: Helping kids find the perfect book. I think along the way people lose their love of reading and it’s great see them find it again.

What do you enjoy the least?

Harmes: Paperwork

Lock: Having to shush people for being too loud. I like making it a fun place to be, but we have to have a quiet environment sometimes.

Werner: It’s really humid in here.

What made you decide to be a high school librarian?

Harmes: I love English and I hate doing homework. I love love reading and literature. I love sharing it with people.

Lock: I wanted to share my love of reading and books with students at Holt.

Werner: I went to the Missouri History Museum and toured the library there. I saw position opened here and I applied.

Any advice for Holt students?

Harmes: Take responsibility for your learning.

Lock: Never stop reading. Reading will help you succeed in all classes.

Werner: Find something you’re going to love doing for the rest your life. I wouldn’t have known I was going to become a librarian, but I did love to read in high school.

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