New librarian takes library by storm

In the past, former media specialist Marianne Heinze had to juggle between three German classes and her duties at the media center. In order to make up for lost time she had to open up the library early, but consequently had to close it early. But times have changed.
Now, thanks to newly-hired media specialist Alice Hester and teacher Lisa Fischer, hours have been extended from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
“My goal is to make the media center more available for both students and faculty and to make it more user-friendly,” Hester said. “Each month we’re going to have a theme and we’re going to have displays to make the media center more inviting.”
The hard-to-miss decorations are everywhere. Fall-themed stickers line the glass walls and clear glass cases are filled with other items that give off the warm cozy feeling of autumn.
In addition, the top of one of the bookshelves features a laptop with a PowerPoint presentation celebrating Native American Indian History Month.
Situated right next to the presentation is a cart filled with audio books. This resource is great for reading Classical English literature, allowing students to hear correct pronunciations.
There are also resources available beyond the library’s walls. Students who seek books not housed at the Media Center have the complimentary option of ordering one from another school through Inter Library Loans, a policy that allows students to borrow books from other libraries within Miami-Dade schools.
The library is available through all three lunches; however, if students wish to visit during class, they need a pass. Ambitious and optimistic, Hester hopes to expand the library with more seating and electronics. She also hopes to “see a much greater usage of the library than I see right now.”
“There’s something calming, even soothing about coming to the library. There’s a feeling of self-confidence when you know how to use the library, when you know how to find what you need in the library and it’s a skill that you’re going to need when you go on to a university. There are a lot of electronic resources, but you’re still going to need to use books,” Hester said.