Disappearing Desktops!

Library rework, now with no printers or desktop computers as well as a new face in the TMHS community!


Sarah McQuaid & Maddy Gallant, Entertainment Correspondents, and Official Teacher Feature Writers

Students that are returning to Tewksbury Memorial High School for the 2018-2019 school year have been greeted with a transformed library. With absolutely no desktop computers in sight, the space has been made more open and free for students to come in and spend their time, working or relaxing.

With the study tables rearranged, accompanied with new high-top tables and the relocation of the coveted “comfy chairs”, the layout in the Library has changed drastically. Most notable of these changes being the removal of available printers and the desktop computers.

In previous years, anyone in TMHS was able to visit the library and print whatever was needed for classes, now printing must be done elsewhere. It has been an adjustment from previous years to this year, but so far things seem to be running pretty smoothly.

Students and teachers first faced this change with skepticism. With the absence of printers that were previously available to all, TMHS now has to focus on submitting papers online either through the ever popular Google Classroom, or a new strategy called turnitin.com. Hopefully, the school is conserving paper along the way.

The second speed bump that everyone is running into to start the year off is the lack of desktops. With no desktop computers available to students anywhere in the school, doing school work during the day may seem a bit strange. Don’t fret too much, Chromebook laptops are available to students in every classroom and also throughout the day within the library.

Along with the reworked library, a new librarian has taken over. Mr. Zimmerman has enjoyed a warm welcome from faculty and students and hopes to provide help for anyone seeking it. We spoke to Mr. Zimmerman to get his take on our library and our school as a whole.

So, you’re a new face here, how are you liking TMHS so far?

It’s been great, everybody’s been really nice, friendly and helpful. I’m really enjoying my time.

Do you have a favorite thing about the school?

The library is a very beautiful space, the natural light and the way it’s set up makes it very nice and very open. With it being the biggest part of my job being in here all day, it really helps that it’s such a great space.

This is obviously your first year at TMHS, but have you been a librarian before?

I have. I’ve been in schools for about twelve years now, in both private schools and public schools. I was at Lawrence High last year and before that Watertown, Arlington and Austin Prep in Reading.

What made you become a librarian in the first place?

Both of my parents are teachers, so I kind of grew up with that as an influence. I wanted to work in schools but I didn’t have a specific subject that I wanted to teach and librarians get to work with everything really. I was also a big reader, always have been, so that helps.

How long did you have to go to school for this position, what school(s) did you attend?

I did my undergrad at Emerson in Boston, I majored in film but that didn’t exactly pan out for me so I went to grad school at Salem State where I got my graduate degree in Education.

Did you get a chance to meet our former librarian (Mrs. Eldringhoff)?

I did not get a chance to meet her actually, we were supposed to meet at the end of last year but she was out sick that day so I did not get to formally meet her. We did communicate to exchange emails and she left a lot of information for me to work with.

Our past librarian, Mrs. E, had a huge impact on the school. Some might say that you have some pretty big shoes to fill, what is one thing you think you’d like to accomplish within the school community this year?

I have seen that she is very fondly remembered which is great and yes there are big shoes to fill when someone like her encompasses a role like that. I’m probably pretty different than she was, I don’t know if I’ll be the same as her, so hopefully, I can bring different things to the table. My goal is to make the library an open and inviting place that kids feel comfortable coming to and getting the help they need, just so they feel it is a resource they always have.

Do you enjoy working with people in our age group?

Well yes, I hope so, I sort of signed up for that. It is interesting because kids today go through a completely different world than I did going through high school. It’s interesting to still be able to have one foot in that world and see how different it is and how times are changing.

You mentioned that you are a bookworm, what is the best book that you’ve had the opportunity to read? If you can narrow it down.

I don’t think I could narrow it down to one book. I enjoy F. Scott Fitzgerald, he would be my favorite author. I enjoyed everything I read by him, especially his short stories which I think are underappreciated. The great thing about books is that you can constantly find ones that are new to you, even if they’re a hundred years old. That’s one of the beauties of books that I hope we don’t lose in this digital age. I think there’s something in a book you can’t get in other forms and I hope kids still appreciate that. There’s just something about slowing down and sitting with a book that you can’t duplicate.

Similar question, do you have a book you would recommend to the student body, one you think everyone could draw some lessons from?

That’s a good question, the tough thing is that different books appeal to different people. One person could look at a book and it could really affect them deeply and the next person could look at the same book and say that it has nothing to do with their life or that it doesn’t matter. That’s a tough one to think of on the spot. I’d recommend people to find their own book that reaches them and I think a book can really alter your life if you find the right one.

We also spoke with the assistant librarian, Mrs. Maia.

How long have you worked at our school?

I’ve been working at the high school for five years now – been with the town of Tewksbury for fifteen years.

Are there any new policies within the library this year?

The new policy is the printing; there’s no printing now as we all know, so we do ask you to put everything on google docs and share them with your teachers.

How do you feel about the new library setup/change of layout?

I like it. I think it’s pretty inviting. I see the different groups of people coming in and using the same little sections, they seem to like the high top tables and there’s a little section between the stacks that’s quiet, they call them the comfy chairs.

Do you think it’s better or worse without the desktop computers? Have you noticed any reactions to the removal?

At the very beginning, there was a panic, you could see it in their faces. We just tried to say it’s okay, we’re going to help you through it and so far this is the third week and I think everybody’s adjusted well.

Do you notice a change in attendance at the library?

With the loss of the computers we don’t see as many faces in the morning or after school for kids to use the computers, so we do miss that.

Have you noticed any changes transitioning from the past few years into this year?

I have not. I think it’s been pretty smooth, everybody’s been welcoming to the new librarian. I mean everybody’s nice here so I don’t see as many changes.

Finally, a library is a wonderful resource for a school to have, but now that there are no desktop computers, could you remind the students what help a library can provide for them?

Well, even though we don’t have desktops you can still check out laptops throughout the day. I’m here in the morning to help with anything and in the afternoon until about 2:15. We can’t print, which is the big change that everyone is trying to adjust to. There are still the books that hopefully people check out, at least for fiction. I know with nonfiction things can go out of date and that it doesn’t make sense to check out a book for a lot of that stuff but we do have a great fiction collection that is worth taking a look at. Also, the space itself I think is a nice atmosphere to be able to come in and relax and catch a breath for a moment, get some work done if need be or just take a break and just come here and bask in the natural light