SCANDIA, Kan. (KSNW) – Technology made its way to Pike Valley High School about nine years ago, which impacted the library’s function. Then, budget cuts happened, book inventory went downhill, and the school lost its librarian.
The library door is now locked to students, the one group of people who need it open the most.
“The teachers and the staff here have really put into us that if you want something for your education, you need to go after it,” said Jentry McGregor, a Pike Valley High School sophomore.
McGregor, along with nine other students, formed the “Bring Back the Library” committee. The students have been raising money and applying for grants to bring back their library, which includes some renovations to the current space.
So far, students have built a wall to create a partition between the new library and the classroom. The space will soon have new flooring and an updated book inventory. Students also came up with the idea to add a coffee bar in the library.
Organizers said it’s been frustrating not having the library as a resource, especially during class projects.
“I needed a book on Gandhi, and I couldn’t find one,” said sophomore Tory Isaacson. “I couldn’t find one at the city library, so I went to the next city over and found one.”
It hasn’t been easy for book lovers either, like senior Brooke Luedke.
“Some kids like to read for enjoyment,” she said. “If the library is locked, they can’t come in and check out a book.”
The students have been looking at purchasing a computer, bar code scanner and a computer program for processing book check-outs. Another goal of the committee is to obtain volunteers to supervise the library at least three hours a day.
School officials said ACT scores have dropped significantly in the past few years, so they’re looking for many ways to encourage good study habits — saying the library would be one more place for that.
Isaacson said she’s looking forward to using the library as a place to study, instead of at her house.
“I need a quiet place,” she explained. “I tend to get distracted.”
The students are continuing to raise money for the project and hope to have the library ready by May. If you’d like to learn more about “Bring Back the Library” or are interested in donating to the students’ project, visit their WeKan fundraising site.