Literary lover’s paradise

Epley makes changes to library atmosphere


Photo by Piper Spaulding

Librarian Rachel Epley checks out a book for a student. Epley became librarian in 2015 and has since made many changes to the library.

Story by Victoria Van and Omar Matos

Lights flicker on as she promptly opens the doors and greets eager students waiting to be engulfed in books, jazz music and the never-ending beauty of the library. She swiftly arranges the scattered novels and waves hello to the students patiently waiting for books to be checked out.

Rachel Epley, the school librarian, has been working to improve aspects of the library since her arrival in August 2015 with high hopes.

Epley’s primary concern coming to our school was how to include more activities within the library. She wanted to make her transition from an English teacher to a librarian as enjoyable as possible. Epley describes her job as being worthwhile her effort.

“I love being the librarian here. I taught 12th grade English for six years before I came here,”

Epley said. “Teaching was awesome, but I wanted to do something where I could help out the teachers as well as the students, so this has really been a lot of fun working in the library.”

The library has been significantly modified to ensure that the students are interested and welcomed into a peaceful environment. New technology such as a new T.V. and jazz music were a few additions to the improved  setting. Positive feedback from teachers and students have greatly aided in her motivation to continuously diversify the library.

“When you are in school, you get to meet a lot of other people that have great ideas, and it excited me to get to implement all these interesting elements.” Epley said. “I’ve just been trying to figure out things that bring people in to hang out, read and play games. I just want it to be a relaxing comfortable environment.”

Impressive revisions such as the Makerspace gives students an outlet to creatively express their shared love for literature. The Makerspace is a multimedia art section that allows people to read books as well as introduce themselves to a variety of activities within the library.

“I have loved watching students walk into the library and seen what we have at the makerspace,” Epley said. “I wasn’t sure how popular it was going to be when I first set it up, but the coloring books, Google Cardboard VR and origami have been used non-stop.”

Epley’s appreciation for students participating in reading help establish a respectable atmosphere for both her and the students within the environment.

“When you try to implement a new idea, you never know how it will be received, but it has been great to have students come to the library and participate in Teen Read Week or Banned Books Week.” Epley said. “These events are aimed to encourage kids to participate in national reading weeks by checking out books from the library.”

Further advances accelerate Epley’s wishes to extend certain genres of literature and persuade students to enhance their knowledge by reading a variety of works.

“I’ve been working on the fiction section to get it updated. The next goal is to work on the nonfiction,” Epley said. “A lot of our books are over 20 years old, so I want to get material that’s relevant that people can use as resources and develop an interest in different topics. I also really hope to improve circulation so that more books are checked out every month.”

Epley’s long term goal is to continue impacting the library in any way possible to vastly surpass her expected resolutions.

“Hopefully I can impact it by putting more material in here that students find pleasure in or interesting to influence their presence here and enjoy being at the library,” Epley said. “Including more things like getting students to have a positive experience is a priority above all.”