By Britney Firmin ’16
If you have recently observed a vacant expanse that was once filled with nonfiction books, then you have observed what once was the original Hapgood library. The Hapgood library, which is the center of school life here at Boston Latin Academy, is soon to be undergoing a series of changes that will appear notable to on looking students.
The original teal tiles that mark the library’s floors have been stripped, with a brown coating remaining. With the intentions of replacing the floors altogether, the library will soon uncover a new look that will certainly grab students’ attention. The question that remains is, why the sudden renovation? Ms. Lewis, a librarian at the Hapgood library, commented on this ominous question by saying, “The library is being renovated because it is in need of a makeover. Honestly, I hope that this is just the beginning.” In Ms. Lewis’ perspective, the library’s makeover will improve its overall appearance. Hopefully, it will even initiate future renovations that will better the efficiency of the library for its visitors.
Many students take pride in borrowing a book from the library to read at their leisure, or simply use the computers at the library during a study period. The library is depended upon for numerous uses by students, and interconnects many based on the purposes that it serves. When asked about what sorts of changes will be made to the library, Ms. Lewis elaborated by saying, “The old crummy rug that the non-fiction stacks sit on will be replaced with a new, clean, tile floor.” A clean tile floor will not only surprise on looking students, awaiting to gain access into the library once more, but will even shed light on the infamous renovation of parts of the school. Though change can appear to be a good thing, it also establishes a lack of control that was once known. Librarians Ms. Lewis and Mrs. Estrada have conflicting emotions towards the library’s makeover altogether. Despite the new changes being made to the library, Ms. Lewis explains the predicament that the renovation period puts her and Ms. Estrada in by saying, “The changes are bittersweet. I love the idea of our wonderful library getting updates; however Mrs. Estrada and I are sad that while the renovations are taking place we cannot circulate any non-fiction books. Students and teachers come to the library throughout the day asking for nonfiction books- and all of the books are packed away.” Due to the library’s renovation, Lewis and Estrada were forced to pack away the nonfiction books that resided on the area of the library’s floor that is being replaced with brand new tiles.
Both Lewis and Estrada are hard at work in accommodating for the library’s renovation as well. “Ms. Estrada and I (and our generous student volunteers), have spent the last two weeks removing 12,000 books from the shelves. I have been told that removing the rug and placing the tiles on the floor should take less than a week, but Mrs. Estrada and I have to place all the books back in proper order, and to be honest, I think that may take a couple of months,” says Ms. Lewis. Behind the scenes, the librarian duo and generous students remove thousands of novels from their shelves and order them using the Dewey Decimal System, which is an enormous task in itself. The renovation of the library should not take too long, but ironically, stacking books in their original positions is what will seemingly be the most time consuming.
As a final thought, Ms. Lewis even hopes that realization by students will be gained from the library’s renovation process. “All of the books [at the library] are significant and regularly circulated, and if anything comes out of this process, besides a new floor, it’s that students will realize that the library is an essential resource in the school community and should not be taken for granted,” she says. Lewis reinforces the importance of a school library being provided in the school community, and sheds light on the dependency from students and faculty on the Hapgood library as a whole.