Patrons adjust to changes at school library

Printing at home, using book dropbox are now the trend


Megaphone file photo

Scenes like this from last year, with students gathering in a group before school in the library, are now a thing of the past. This space is now occupied by Sr. Mary Ann Stewart’s social studies classes.

Mireya Munoz , Reporter

Coronavirus and construction have resulted in changes to the library that will continue throughout this school year.

Library director Mrs. Jenny Herron noted how the Indianapolis Public Library, of which Cathedral High School is a branch, has been impacted, including the use of the facility as a classroom. 

Herron said, “First of all, the entire physical space of the library has completely changed.” She said that the library has been altered mainly due to construction, but there are some impacts of the coronavirus. “The library is currently being used by Sr. Mary Ann Stewart and her U.S. history courses. There is only one period in our schedule without a class.” Herron noted that art teacher Mr. Jon Kane also teaches a class in the library. 

Because there are classes that meet in the library, students have been discouraged from going in and out of the library. This is mainly because teachers would not like to have their classes disrupted. This affects a student’s ability to print in the library. “We strongly encourage students to print at home,” Herron said. She said she concludes that many students also are printing in the Shiel Student Life Center or on the second floor of Loretto. 

We strongly encourage students to print at home.”

— Mrs. Jenny Herron

Because of Covid-19, Herron said, “We have been trying to push our students towards using a virtual library so that we prevent the spread of the virus. But if students would like a hard copy of a book, we have another process that we use.” 

That process includes a book drop-box in the library hallway. The books that are returned into the drop-box or are delivered from other branches are sanitized and are subject to what Herron called a “quarantine” for three days to assure that the virus is no longer on the books. Students and staff pick up their requested items on a shelf labeled “pick up” just inside the library. 

Senior Claudia Lowe, a frequent user of the library, is also one who would rather read books on a screen. “I prefer hardcover books,” Lowe said. “There’s less distractions and I like to see how far I’ve gotten in the book.” 

Since the library staff is recommending that students use the online library, the technology department has downloaded an application on every student’s iPad called Axis360. Herron said, “It’s basically a collection of books recommended for readers in the high school level. Our online databases are still up and running and we still strongly encourage that the students use those for research.” 

Herron said that while students may find it more challenging to go to the library for help in person, she is only one email away. She said that students who need help with conducting research or writing a paper should contact her, and she will be glad to help, either over email or through a Zoom meeting.