The Voice

The Voice

The Voice

Volunteering in library has been limited in recent years

Volunteering in the library has seen a decline in recent years due to limitations on in-school volunteering (A. Knipp).
Volunteering in the library has seen a decline in recent years due to limitations on in-school volunteering (A. Knipp).

A few years ago, there was at least one student volunteer in the library per class period.

Today, there are no volunteers.

Not because of a rise in student selfishness, but because, for right now, they are not allowed to volunteer at the library during school hours. 

Assistant Principal Sharon Hartman confirmed that in the past, students were allowed to take a non-credit period to volunteer for specific teachers, the offices, and the library.

Unfortunately, some students took advantage of the freedom, and instead of helping out their assigned teacher during that class period, they would roam the hallways without supervision. Other students had their “volunteer period” during a time when their teacher had class, leaving the volunteer with minimal supervision.

Other times, the volunteer’s help was unneeded.

“You can’t have students entering grades into the computer,” said Hartman. “Students used to make copies for the teachers too, but now we have a copy center for the district teachers.”

For this reason, volunteering was constricted to the offices that could supervise the students and could really use the help, like the student-services office volunteers who give out passes to students throughout the day.

“The library wasn’t selected out,” said Hartman. “No one asked if they could have volunteers, so it could just be a lack of communication.”

Even if the library does not necessarily need a volunteer during every period, there are still certain times when the librarians could use the extra help, especially when it comes to overdue books.

Overdue notices used to be sent to advisory teachers, but it became apparent that some students ditched advisory. Librarian Linda Mulcahy then started sending the English teachers overdue notices for their students, but some kids never find out that they have overdue books, and others fail to care.

The LRC currently has 241 overdue books and $535.90 in unpaid fines for books returned late. A few students to run around and give students overdue notices could possibly make the difference.

“A few years ago, volunteers used to help with the laptop carts, shelve books, check in kids, and organize the magazines while we [the librarians] could focus on cataloguing new books,” said Mulcahy.

Sometimes, six to eight laptop carts need to be moved throughout the school in one day.

There were times that Mulcahy had to close the library after school because all the librarians were moving carts. Pressed for time, they could not leave the LRC unattended without closing it.

“There are times when we could use some help,” said Sandy Brooks, LRC media specialist.

Because of those issues, teachers are now responsible for picking up and dropping off carts, which lightens the load on the librarians a bit.

The library is not always busy, but a few extra hands could help out during those hectic times.

“I don’t mind not having aides,” said Brooks. “In general, we can handle it.”

Hartman clarified that if the library needed aides, they would not be denied the extra help. The issue had never been brought to mind. Now aware, the library might have some support during those more busy times in the near future.

View Comments (1)
About the Contributor
Ashley Knipp, Author

Comments (1)

All The Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    Tiffany Marie MazurFeb 12, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    That doesn’t stop all of us. Instead of going to lunch 4/5 times a week, I go to the library and help out during that hour.