What Exactly Does A Westside Student Do In The Library?


Miriam Bachunguye

The expansive Library at Westside provides students with study locations, charging stations, and hangout locations. Early morning activity in the Westside Library on December 7, 2021

Upon my arrival at Westside High School, I was curious to see how the library looked and what kind of books they had. As I went to the library, I went there expecting to be pleasantly surprised, but was instead  disappointed. The library was arranged in a way that had numerous places for people to sit rather than shelves for books. In addition, I noticed students relaxing with their phones and meeting up with friends, particularly at lunchtime or in the morning. Students were creating a lot of noise while playing with their friends, and some of them were even eating their morning food inside the library despite the library’s policy that said, “no eating or drinking is permitted.”

“There used to be a lot of books at the library, but they were taken away, so there is now a lot of empty space in the library,” stated  my  teacher  who was present when this occurred. That explains why there are more seats available for students to sit in the library. It irritates me that some books were taken out. My definition of a library most likely differs from yours. In my perspective, a library is a location where you can discover various sorts of books to read or information that you require. A quiet area to read. Our library is a location where you can socialize with your friends, eat, study, along with other things.

On most days, you can find me at the library doing tutorials after school or reading one of my favorite books first thing in the morning before school starts. Student groups hang out or study constantly in the library, which is good, but when they start making loud noises, it becomes a problem. I believe the reason students come into the library and do other things besides checking out books is that most of the books inside do not look interesting. As a result, they just come in and hang out with their friends.

One of the students that have been attending this school for two years told me, “I never checked out any books from the school library; I  come to the library because the cafeteria is always packed.” I enquired further, “Is there another reason you don’t borrow books from there?”  She replied, “The school library doesn’t have any books that I want.” I wasn’t even surprised because I had other students that said the same thing, but for different reasons; They stated that they do not utilize the school library because the books are sometimes dirty, especially when COVID is still present. I haven’t checked out any books from the library yet, based on what everyone has told me about the library, I’m not looking forward to doing so. I went to the library and just looked around; of course, I saw books that caught my attention, but I don’t believe I’ll be obtaining a book there at least till covid is gone.

In my experience, the Westside library is not the quietest place to read books or do schoolwork in the morning or during lunch. Since there are so many students during that time, it may become quite noisy. I’ve never gone to the library during school hours, but when I walk by, I notice that there aren’t many people there, and they all appear to be busy with something, so it could be the best time to attend if you enjoy working in peaceful surroundings. I would love to be one of those individuals that go to the library during school hours, but according to the Westside standards, “students must have a library pass/permit and an ID.” That disappointed me because I don’t have any free courses during those hours, therefore I can’t go to the library during those hours.

I believe librarians should start sending individuals out who simply come in the library to fool around, especially in the morning because that is when a lot of people come in to finish their late assignments or read books before school starts. When I read the Westside library policy, there are a lot of rules that students are breaking in the library, therefore the librarian needs to start being strict. For example, no food or drinks was stated in the library’s policies. I’ve seen multiple students drinking and eating their breakfast in the morning, which doesn’t bother me much.

If students are going to eat in the library, please clean up after yourself rather than standing up and leaving. If they’re going to hang out with their friends, keep your voice down and respect the individuals around you. I can’t come during school hours, but I’d like to visit the library when it’s quiet in the morning or during lunch.

We like to think of the library as a quiet place to work and read, not a zoo.