SHS has gone without a library for more than a decade


Last updated 4/11/2023 at 10:39am

Libraries have always served as a quiet, book- filled, welcoming workplace. Knowing this, kids or adults are drawn to the reliability of it being a safe place. According to KAPPEN, a K-12 education-focused magazine, schools that have libraries and librarians are prone to have better graduation rates, higher reading levels throughout grades, and mastery of educational skills. Sisters High School (SHS) currently does not employ a librarian.

Sarah Crabtree, Sisters Middle School librarian/media manager said that she “loves that there is a space provided for the middle schoolers where they can come and get away from their screens and interact with each other as well as play board games screen-free.”

Crabtree has been working at Sisters Middle School since June of last year. She studied communications at Western Oregon College. After graduating college, she worked for an elementary middle school in Portland as the librarian/media manager for two years. Once she relocated here, she started working for the Sisters School District. When considering going back to school and getting certified to be a librarian, she was told by her peers that “it was a waste of time.” She was told that nobody was hiring librarians anymore.

“Nowadays it’s believed that instead of having a librarian, the history and language arts teachers are supposed to do the teaching that the librarians used to provide,” Crabtree said.

In many schools this has not been happening. The history and language arts teachers are not providing the same quality of librarian instruction that used to be offered from a singularly focused librarian.

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The Nugget spoke to students at SHS about the need for a librarian; they agreed that not having a librarian was a negative thing and should be fixed.

“I think we as a community should be putting a priority on high schoolers’ access to books,” said Laney Mansfeild. “A library would serve as a way to further students’ education as well as to allow them a space to develop interest and new ideas. Frankly, I find it to be a shame we have not had a librarian in the recent past years, given that so many other schools do.”

Molly Greaney and Presley Adelt recently completed a Government in Action project through their high school history class. This project challenges students to pick something in the community they would like to change, and then apply to local government. When given this prompt Molly and Presley decided to talk about the lack of a functioning library and librarian at the high school.

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“As a student of Sisters High School, a vibrant library space would be beneficial as an area for people to socialize, check out books, and overall connect,” said Adelt.

“A library can be so much more than just a place to check out books. We would like it to be used to give students media and research support as well as a space for social interaction and studying,” said Greaney.

Wes Estvold, instructional technology specialist for Sisters School District, said the last full-time librarian at SHS was Jade Schneringer. She was let go in the school year of 2009-2010. This left SHS without a school librarian for the past 13 years.

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Suzie Seaney is certified to teach language arts. She teaches in the library, Sisters Educational Options room, and Student Services room. Her courses include online courses, leadership, and yearbook.

Seaney said that “having a librarian would be an excellent resource for students.”

According to Curtiss Scholl, Sisters School District superintendent, the high school media manager/librarian was cut in 2008 due to budget constraints.

“We would like to add a librarian back to the high school, but funding from the State is minimal and limited,” said Scholl.

Resources still exist in the community.

“If kids want to check out books they can also use our local Sisters Library,” said Scholl.

ARTifacts 2024 at Sisters High School

Reader Comments(1)

SDH writes:

With all the money Sisters Schools keep asking for I find it irresponsible they haven't been able to fund this position. Obviously the funds are only going to admistration, NOT student learning. We will no longer support any local options or bonds. This is shameful!


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