Library renovation greets students for new year


Miss Lingafelter, Librarian

The new circulation desk

Megan Krok, Editor-in-Chief

The Joliet West library renovations are finally completed as students return to fully in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year. With new seating arrangements and updated collaborative technology, the library creates a space for student collaboration like never before.

The library is an open concept design which features bright colors, new furniture, and updated technology.

“Most students have been so excited about it,” Joliet West librarian Amy Lingafelter said. “The overall response has been very positive.”

One major renovation that increased opportunities for students to collaborate is the seating arrangements. There are more tables, chairs, and even booths for students to try out. Mrs. Lingafelter touched on how the booths make library goers feel a more “intimate experience” that in itself can lead to different types of conversations between students.

Both students and staff alike have had the strongest reception to the open furniture arrangement.

“I think it’s a really bright and inviting environment now,” Joliet West drama teacher Kristin Blake said. “There’s just so many places where kids can go to either relax or get work done in a super calm environment that’s really pleasant.”

Junior Lesly Hernandez had a similar feeling to the library’s setup. “I like the more space there is in the library now. It’s a better environment overall for people to do their homework or if they want to talk, there’s separate spaces for them.” 

Renovations have also provided a highly beneficial technology update. The newly added LibraryTrac software system allows for the librarians to keep track of how many students enter the library. After one week back to school, the library had already received its five-hundredth visitor. Other technology updates include furniture with charging ports and touch screen TVs located in multiple parts of the library that both students and staff have access to.

Aside from the stylish new furniture and updated technology, Mrs. Lingafelter admires how the spirit of the library remains the same. She mentioned that the architecture of the library and its placement within Joliet West allows it to truly be the heart and the hub of the school. “I truly, from freshman year on, want you all to believe that this room belongs to you, too. This is our space. This is here for you,” she continued, “and having a nice new design is helpful…hopefully bringing that philosophy to the forefront.”