The Long Lost Library 


To the right of the girls’ bathroom, room 128 was designed to be the school library. Filled with novels, non-fiction texts, a few wooden tables, and desktop computers, the “library” was conveniently placed on the first floor of the building. 

Daisy Koffler

Currently, there are over 119 thousand libraries across the United States, 98,460 of which are school libraries.   

This astounding number of school libraries reminded me of the room to the right of the first floor girls’ bathroom – the room once intended to be our school library. I do not call that room the library because it simply does not function as one. The space is used as a classroom, not a quiet study and reading space. And worse, the shelves stacked with books go completely unused, as the WESS administration has not yet created an official system for students to check out books. 

Academic libraries provide so much more than just books; computers, printers, digital materials, and most importantly, a place that nurtures curiosity, collaborative thinking, and intellectual freedom

Although many of the English teachers at WESS encourage independent reading by keeping a selection of books in classrooms, it is not regularly communicated to students and does not capture the essence of a library. That also means textbooks are not available for students to check out, a resource that would be helpful for many of the Regents and AP classes offered. 

Freshman Emma Manber-Rubio would use the library if one was offered at WESS. “During lunch I would use it to do homework and get books from it. I could use the library for research, projects, and school,” Manber-Rubio said. 

Reading books for fun is falling more and more out of style with the younger generations in our country. The American Psychological Association reported in 2018 that less than 20% of teenagers said they read a book, magazine, or newspaper daily for joy but 80% check social media every day. 

I observe more often teachers telling students to put away phones than to put away books. As technology and media become an increasingly significant part of our society, it is crucial that schools promote reading for fun to their students. I believe this includes having a library at WESS for students. 

Room 128 being used as a classroom for high school students.

Reading around two to three books each week, senior Pia Sharma wishes to see a library system established at school. “It is important for people who can’t afford to buy books, especially in a public school where the demographic of students who can’t buy books [is often] higher,” stated Sharma. “I would use [the library].” 

I do not discount that the last two school years were challenging and hectic for both students and staff. With a pandemic to consider while running a sixth through twelfth grade school, it is a lot to expect the administration to create a library system and hire staff for it right now.

Despite the rise in educational technology, libraries should still be staple elements of a school. I believe it is as standard as a gym or cafeteria. I hope to see the Student Council or English Department take on this issue soon and implement a library system that will inspire an influx in independent reading, studying, and use of the books in Room 128.