We Need More Media Center Specialists


Dea Veshaj, Staff Writer

Few students at this school remember the time when Stamford High School’s library was open and welcome to all. The change happened at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when media specialists were laid off from their jobs. I remember my freshman year mornings that were spent in that school library before the bell rang for first period. It was a space where one could relax. Students were able to chat with their friends, work on a puzzle, print out documents, work on assignments, sit comfortably, eat lunch, and were met with friendly smiles by the media center specialists. Now, the only times I hear a student mention that they are going to the library is if they need assistance with technical difficulties. Seriously?

After the class of 2023 graduates from Stamford High School, no other students will have experienced how beneficial the school library used to be. Returning to a quiet place to study and relax away from the typical school chaos would be a much more efficient use of the space. Some may say, “That is what study hall is for.” However, the old classrooms simply do not compare to comfort of the prior school library. It had nice cushioned couches, not hard plastic chairs. It was a warm room with character and charm. If there was a book someone wanted, media specialists would happily help students find it and let them check it out. The only thing students needed to do was get a pass to go to the library. Now, it is a hassle to go into the library. Students have to state their reason for being there, the time, during which period they entered, and more. Is that really necessary? Since wandering the school halls is considered a huge problem, why not have a space where students can just sit down and get some work done, or at least stay out of trouble?

There is a solution to this problem. Stamford Public Schools should hire more media center specialists. It should not be the responsibility of only one or two people to manage the entire library at all times. Before, there used to be three people in the media center and now there are two. It makes a significant difference. One of Superintendent Tamu Lucero’s goals for the 2022-2023 school year is to “work collaboratively with staff, teachers, administrators, community partners, students, and families to reimagine school media centers.” The main way that they can do so is to have the proper staffing to run it and to make it less unapproachable to enter. The school library should be open from around 7:00 a.m. until the end of the school day, as it used to be.

As Stamford High School returns to many of its previous traditions, the old Stamford High School media center should be brought back to life as well. It would help to foster fond memories for students and further the academic atmosphere of Stamford High School.