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Students struggle with limited library hours

Harrison Balfour ’24
Students taking advantage of the limited time the library is available to get their studying in. Omar Siddiqui ’25 is studying his class notes.

A big question students are wondering is if the library is going to be opened fully for students during their tutorial hours. Many are awaiting an answer and are unsure if they will have access to a study space.

After the announcement of the library being closed during tutorial hours until further notice, students have found themselves without a place to go for a more spacious and quieter work space. The popular area for many students, has new policies due to the schedule changes with librarians Courtney Johnson and Barbara Grabski and has left many wondering if the library will ever open back up, and if so, when. Previously, students who wanted to go to the library for a tutorial would have to sign up before school.

Students spend time with friends during “study time” like Trulyn Doyle ’25, who said she used her tutorial time to see friends and work on homework.

“Some of my friends don’t have the same classes as me,” Doyle said. “So I like to sign up for the library with my friends and do homework together and hang out with them.”

Starting off a brand new year can always be very chaotic, Johnson said. Being the only full time librarian at South has been a big adjustment. Grabski now shares time between both South and North, while being at South just two days a week.

“The beginning of the school year is always hectic because kids keep coming in for workbooks and school uniforms, and not remembering their passwords,” Johnson said. “So it’s definitely more busy than I’m accustomed to.”

Having the option to go to a bigger, quieter work space can calm the mind for many students like Taylor Lewis ’25, who uses the area for completing all of her assignments. Instead of being in a crammed classroom, having larger tables to spread out her work has been very beneficial to her learning process.

“I really like the library because it is quiet and better to focus, ” Lewis said. “I have a bigger workspace so my mind can collaborate more with my homework.”

Last year was quite different when it came to the process of signing up for the library, and it was much easier. However, due to the change this year, students may find themselves struggling to adjust. Even without any homework to do, the library was calm, and a better environment to be in for most students, rather than classrooms. Now, in order to be in the library, there has to be a purpose Johnson explained.

“I think what we are looking at now is it will have to be on a Google spreadsheet,” Johnson said. “That teacher has to sign up that tutorial student and there has to be a reason why they’re coming down because the days of needing a computer and printing are gone.”

Fourth hour is the hardest for students to not have access to the library. However, according to Johnson, this is her time for lunch and there’s no adult to oversee the space.

“It doesn’t open for the fourth hour because I have my lunch,” Johnson said. “But it’s okay, there are two days of the week where Ms. Grabski is here so those hours in the library will remain open.”

Students are hoping the library will eventually open to students who have been waiting for the moment to come.

“Right now we’re trying to figure out what the new normal looks like,” Johnson said.

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About the Contributors
Murphy Russell '25
Murphy Russell '25, Staff Writer
Murphy Russell ’25 creativity takes on the Tower this year. With being out-going, and having lots of interest in many different things, these new stories will become eye-catching. Russell is the starting pitcher on the South Varsity Softball team and loves practicing the sport with her close friends. “I find lots of joy in sports, it makes me happy to be active,” Russell said. “Especially being on the field and playing what I love.” This first-year staffer is looking forward to working with other Tower members, when it comes to working together, that is right up her alley. “I like to be with others when working on projects, or involving anything with school work,” Russell said. “I’ve always been the type to go out of my way to work with others, it just seems a more enjoyable way to get assignments completed.”
Harrison Balfour ’24
Harrison Balfour ’24, Supervising Photographer
If you happen to see Harrison outside of school, chances are he either has a skateboard beneath him or a camera in hand—possibly even both. As Supervising Photographer for the Tower this year, Balfour has a knack for finding and capturing the beautiful moments of everyday life, one that he hopes will someday land him a job with a newspaper publication. For now though, Tower is enough for Balfour, who sees it as an opportunity to tell unique stories and talk to people who have something to say.“I was always drawn to (Journalism),” Balfour said. “I like telling stories and talking to people-- I feel like I just like people.”When it comes to his journalistic work, however, nothing inspires Balfour more than photography.“I like taking photos (and) capturing a beautiful moment that can never happen again,” Balfour said. “It’s a one-time thing that only I saw and captured.”

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