From Library to Lib – More than just Books

Throughout time libraries have been a quiet sanctuary. A place where talking, if it was done at all, was done in soft whispers as people used the countless resources at their fingertips to research topics, to learn about foreign lands, or just find a book about anything in the world that might interest them. When a person said that they were going to the library, images of a quiet place with shelves lining the walls and books at every turn came to mind. So how is it that the library at Cape Henry has become the number one place to socialize?

The first person to seek answers from was Mrs. Howard. Mrs. Howard, a graduate of Old Dominion University, is the current librarian at Cape Henry Collegiate. She has been with the school for 21 years, and she has served as librarian for the last five of these years. Mrs. Howard was able to provide some insight into what might have brought about the change. She noted that before the renovation, the library was merely a place that people passed through without talking or socializing. “The renovation of the library changed it into the library commons,” she explained. In other words, what was once just a place people passed through on their way to another destination has now become the destination itself. But it is no longer just for those seeking knowledge or a quiet spot to study and contemplate, it is the place to meet up with friends and socialize, sometimes bearing more of a resemblance to the dining room of a Starbucks, sans the overpriced coffee, than to the traditional image of a library.

This change has not gone unnoticed by the teachers and the administration. Mrs Speight, Upper School Administrative Assistant, admits that she has noticed the difference in how the library is being utilized by the student body. “In the 9 years I have been at Cape Henry, I have seen a very large change in what the library is used for. Originally the library was a very quiet place where no one talked, they only studied; now it is different,” she remarked. After hearing what Mrs. Speight had to say, Mr. Angilly, Director of Student Life, expressed his thoughts on the matter, “In my 2 years at CHC, I have seen that the library is used for socializing in groups, and only the occasional person is actually working at a table independently.”

It is quite apparent that CHC teachers, administrators, and students are all aware of the metamorphosis the library has undergone. It seems that the renovation brought about the change, transforming the quiet study spot into the spot for meeting and socializing.