New SHS library opens to students

After being under construction since June of 2020, the SHS Library Media Center, commonly referred to as the LMC, is open for student use. The new library provides benefits such as a quiet learning space, better lighting and individual study rooms. Funded by the referendum, it was designed to better accommodate high school students in a more digital age.

Sara Kemp, library media specialist at Shorewood, is excited to open the doors of the library to students once again.

The newly renovated Library Media Center has been well received by students due to its improved spaces to study and socialize. (Maggie Dickman)

“[We are] definitely looking forward to a more collaborative space for students, a place of community and camaraderie,” Kemp said. “Also, [we are excited about] the idea of coming together, working with classes and clubs being held in the LMC.”

A major reason behind the LMC renovations was the increase in technology use in classrooms. With its new technological resources, the new LMC can further assist students in their learning.

 “The new vision is designed to meet the needs of the high school student today. So not just the books, but more importantly overall access to information through the internet,” Kemp said.

Sharing this vision is Adrienne Davis, SHS campus supervisor, who also serves as the library and health aide. Having been in the district for nearly two years, Davis has seen the library before and after its renovations. 

“There is a lot of new added space. It’s really nice, there’s more room and a lot of stuff in there that [students] can utilize,” Davis said.

On top of providing more room to students, the LMC has other major additions.

“On one side of the space is the busy side of the library and on the other side, which is still not finished, that’s going to be the quiet area,” Davis said. “For the students who want it to be nice and quiet, they have their side, and for the kids who want to eat, listen to music and do all that stuff, they’ll be on the other side.”

The new vision is designed to meet the needs of the high school student today.

— Sara Kemp, library media specialist

While the quiet half of LMC is not yet open for student use, the already-opened area has received praise from many students.

“It provides what I need for a nice, quiet work environment for projects or pretty much anything,” said Giselle Rowhani, sophomore. “I love the separate rooms from the overall space because it’s more secluded, which I like. It’s more productive that way: less noise, less distraction.”

While many students can be seen socializing and studying in the open section of the library, some still feel that the space could be improved further.

“If there were textbooks or other reference materials, like books, I think it would be much better because I would feel more of a need to go there for actual research purposes,” Rowhani said. 

This concern is on the minds of many Shorewood students. However, this issue will soon be resolved, according to Tim Kenney, SHS principal.

“Renovations are done, and what we’re in the process of now is putting the library back together,” Kenney said, referring to the upcoming placement of books back on the shelves. 

Books will be sorted through and placed out in the coming months so they are available to students in the near future. 

I love the separate rooms from the overall space because it’s more secluded, which I like. It’s more productive that way: less noise, less distraction.

— Giselle Rowhani, sophomore

As of December 16, food is permitted in the library, as it is a place students can go to eat and converse with their friends during free periods and lunch. Although food is currently allowed, whether or not it will be in the future is determined by student behavior in the space. 

“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of [students] completely cleaning up after themselves when they eat food [in the library],” Kenney said. “It is something that is so simple, but it is the thing that will keep this space as nice as it possibly can be for the longest amount of time, ideally years to come.”

The library is currently open from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Students are also required to check in at the main desk each time they enter the library. Further additions to the LMC will be made over the next few months. Additionally, to celebrate the fully completed space, there will be a more formal, more official opening sometime next year.

“[We are] about 65 percent open and the other 35 percent is still a work in progress,” Davis said. “We’ve only just had our soft opening.”

Overall, Kenney is optimistic about the future of the LMC. Having been a major project, he implores students to take care of it.

“We had this space designed with 100 percent students in mind,” Kenney said. “This is your library, treat it well, we made it for you. Be respectful, again clean up after yourself, pretty much all the basic things. Let’s do this together and take care of it because it is a gorgeous new space.”