Curtis library without a librarian

Students and staff share concerns about the services of the school library.

Nadia Chin

The student library at Curtis is a place that many students and staff use as a source of reading, information, and even testing. At the end of last year, Curtis’ librarian, Ms. Rita Dougherty, retired from her position, which left the library without a librarian. The library was run by Dougherty for over 10 years. 

School aide, Mr. Matt Regozo, who assisted Ms. Dougherty with running the library, continues to work in the library, though his responsibilities have been split with the attendance office. There have been new staff members that have been assigned to the library, however they are not certified librarians.

Greer Gerney, a junior, recently signed out a book from the library, however, she did not feel as if she received the proper services when needed. “I went to the library to check out Of Mice of Men, yet no one asked me for my student ID, and when signing out, my name was written on a random piece of loose leaf.’’

Teachers also expressed their concerns with the lack of a permanent librarian. “It is absolutely imperative to acquire a librarian… they are indispensable,’’ stated IB English teacher, Ms. Pillarella. Pillarella and other teachers have used the library as a source of research for writing assignments and exams. For example, students in the IB program looked to Ms. Dougherty as a mentor for their Extended Essay, which Pillarella coordinates during the school year. Later on in May, IB exams are distributed in the facility. 

Mr. Torta, assistant principal of the English Department, also shared his views on the situation. He expressed that there is currently a process underway in terms of securing the proper staffing. For now, there is staff available in the library for every period so that it is always open to students. Principal Jaenicke commented on the issue as well, saying, “I am aware that we are out of compliance by not having a full time librarian. However, it is more important for us to get the right fit, and I am confident that we will fill the position before the fall semester.”