by Shannon McSweeney
One thing that can be said about Marian: it is never boring. The president and principal stand in the cold in costumes on Halloween, there is a day dedicated to inflatable obstacle courses and cotton candy, and it has a club for just about anything (including ice cream). The same can be said for Marian’s library, and all of the upgrades and changes happening this year.
The library, currently located on the east end of third floor, is run by librarian Mrs. Molly Raabe and para-professional Ms. Laura Evans. This dynamic duo works well together, taking care of books, monitoring study halls and working in the Collaboration Room. They are also always willing to help out a student with book suggestions, hosting the occasional Reader’s Advisory Group meeting in which Marian girls discuss books they’ve recently read.
The library is open to all students from 7 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., which is later than previous years thanks to Ms. Evans. During finals week, the library will be open from 7 a.m.-3p.m. on Monday and Tuesday and 7 a.m.-12 p.m. on Wednesday.
“One of the big things we changed were our hours, because I was noticing that girls were waiting at the door in the morning,” Raabe explained, “So I asked if we could get a para [librarian], so we hired Ms. Evans, and now girls can have access to this space.”
The library is also stocked with AP flash cards to aid studying in the following AP classes: World History, European History, Spanish IV, Calculus, and US Government & Politics. Among the most important ways in which the library is useful for students are the databases, which can be used for any kind of research.
“I decided to change to Follet Destiny, which is a database and a catalogue system. It’s super nerdy but awesome because it helps you guys so much,” Raabe said.
Marian switched from an older database, Mandarin, to Follet Destiny during the 2015-2016 school year. Raabe explained that the new platform is cheaper, easier to manage and stores more information.
The main appeal of the library, of course, is the books. Raabe and Evans are dedicated to making the library a welcoming environment that encourages Marian girls to read, either for a class or just for fun. From displaying Halloween books in October to creating a board about Banned Books Week in the third floor hallway, the librarians are passionate about reading, and they work to spread that passion to the Marian community.
“You can talk a little bit more. I try to feel the vibe in the library. If girls are studying and it’s quiet, I try to shift kids around,” Raabe explained, “If you want to work collaboratively, we send you down to Student Services, not because we don’t love you, but because we try to make everybody happy in this little environment.”
When the library isn’t being used as a quiet space to read, collaborative working is welcomed. Three study rooms with whiteboards and a Collaboration room equipped with flatscreens for presentations are available for student use.
Raabe is also excited for the new location of the library as part of the Capital Campaign.
“We’re moving to the center of the building, and that’s the number one thing if you look at future-ready libraries and 21st Century learning, to move the library to the hub. It’s just so important,” Raabe said.
No matter where you look in Marian, it is full of special places for different activities and dedicated teachers and staff trying to give students the best high school experience possible. The library is no different, with the new improvements, passionate librarians and of course, lots and lots of books.
Librarians love these novels
Mrs. Molly Raabe’s Favorites
“Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder, is a series of books about a family in the Midwestern United States in the late 1800s. The nine-book series is autobiographical and was published from 1932 to 1943. “I read ‘Little House on the Prairie’ to my kids every Christmas, it’s been a tradition ever since they were little.”
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, is a seven-book series about a wizard boy who goes to a school filled with magic, adventures and friendship. The series is extremely popular, and inspired six movies and a club at Marian, Harry Potter club. “Harry Potter is one of my favorite book series for obvious reasons. It’s just so amazing,” Raabe said.
Ms. Laura Evans’s Favorites
“Watership Down” by Richard Adams is some risky rabbits in the English countryside. The community of rabbits bands together to survive. “It’s definitely not just fluffy bunnies frolicking- it’s really a quite harrowing adventure as the rabbits deal with natural foes, weather and the impact of man on their homes and surrounding environment,” Evans said.
“Tell the Wolves I’m Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt is about loss and finding friendship in unlikely places. A young girl loses her uncle to a harrowing illness. In her time of need, she finds comfort from someone new. “It’s a beautiful read about love, quite simply, and acceptance of yourself and others. I would reccommend it to anyone,” Evans said.