Book nook: library refurb

About two years ago, a generous, retired librarian named Ann Louise Hyde gave a $65,000 legacy to the ARHS library, which was what sparked the idea of a renovation.

Unfortunately there is not enough money to paint the walls and re-do the floors, but there is enough to make a workable and efficient use of space in the library.

Leslie Lomasson, head of the ARHS library, said that the biggest problems in the library are that it currently contains a lot of wasted space and “the goal is to make the wasted space workable.”

For example, students may have noticed that in one of the corners, there are piles of VHS tapes, which are very rarely checked out.

The back space by the windows is also a problem since it is unusable because students were too rowdy and would hang around rather than using the library space.

Another issue is that the furniture in the library is getting older and is not very comfortable.

Ms. Lomasson sent out the Library Physical Space Survey to all the students and staff in the school. The Library Physical Space Committee, a committee of students helping Ms. Lomasson to work on the library, joined together to solve the issues found in the Library Physical Space Survey.

The committee plans to change the use of space and some policies in the library. The first step they are taking, which is planned to start during this semester, is to remove all of the VHS tapes and create what Ms. Lomasson calls, the “Reading Oasis.”

This will be a place with comfortable chairs where people can sit down and read a book. They also are going to fill the shelves where the VHS tapes were with books like graphic novels.

One long term goal for the library is to shorten the shelves that block the view of the currently unusable back space.

To do that, Ms. Lomasson and the rest of the library crew have to go through a long process of deciding which books go and which books stay based on whether the books are necessary for the curriculum or not.

Once the shelves are shortened, the plan is to install a counter by the windows in the back space, with comfortable stools and outlets so students can plug in their laptops and quietly work there.

This project is a very stressful task for Ms. Lomasson; everything is so complicated, even picking out the chairs. She first is sending out a survey to the Library Physical Space Committee to choose which furniture would fit their criteria the best, which will take a lot of time during their meetings. Once that is done she has to make sure they follow the fire codes and get all of that cleared to ensure safety.

A vision for the future library is to section out the library for efficient use after school. There would be a place to socialize, a spot to quietly do work, either on the computers or not, and of course the “Reading Oasis.” Doing this will make the library workable for everyone, based on what they need to get their work done.

If you are interested in joining the Library Physical Space Committee, want more information about the renovation or want to know how you can help, visit Leslie Lomasson in the library after school or you can contact her by email at