The Library Advisory Board is a new addition to Lafayette’s library where students can help out around the things they love–books. Librarian Jane Lingafelter helps to oversee the board.
“We haven’t had one for a few years, but we have kids in book club who like to do more than read and talk about books and so some of those same kids who are in book club are part of the Library Advisory Board. We knew from the last couple of years there were students who really wanted to spend some additional time in the library and were really fascinated by all the different things we do. So we use this to expose kids to what options are available here,” Lingafelter said
While the Library Advisory Board is for students who love to spend more time in the library, it is also something that is a tremendous help to the librarians, allowing them to focus on other things that they need to get done around the library.
“We have lots of books that are returned each and every day and it takes a good chunk of our time to get those back on the shelf so that other students can check them out. Some students stop by before school, some stop in if they have extra time at the end of class they just come up and shelve books, and that is one of the biggest helps that they can give to us,” Lingafelter said.
The popularity of the Library Advisory Board has been very encouraging to the librarians as there is a minimum of five to ten students in each section of AcLab who come up to the library to help out. Shelving books also gives readers a chance to find new reading materials.
“Their joy of books when they shelve books, like ‘oh I’ve never seen this book’ and then they check it out immediately. Or they see our new books, they helped process all the new books in the shipment we just got, and they were fascinated by the various titles that were there. All these brand new books, people who love to read, when you see brand new books you get really excited. So it’s really fun to see their genuine excitement over books that we have in the library,” Lingafelter said.
Sophomore Lizzie Rattenborg’s interest in the Daniel Boone library led her to unknowingly set up the idea for the Library Advisory Board in Lafayette.
“I didn’t know I started it, it was actually just a suggestion until I saw it on the board and I was like oh I guess it’s actually a thing now. I wanted to join the Daniel Boone teen advisory board and I asked the librarian what it was like and what it was and she said I have to do it, and so I joined that. Then it was like ‘maybe we should do one at the school too,’ and I said ‘yeah that sounds fun’ and we actually ended up doing it,” Rattenborg said.
Rattenborg wishes more students would realize the importance and incredible nature of reading and how the librarians can help to find that perfect book.
“Reading is a form of escapism for me and so I love to read to be in a new place with new people. When I am stressed, reading always makes me happier. I wish that other people knew that if you don’t like to read, it could be because of the books you are reading. For me, I got more into reading because I figured out my reading taste through exploring new genres and topics. Librarians are also great resources to help you find good books,” Rattenborg said.
Moving forward, the Library Advisory Board wants to promote their club using the students’ ideas through things they see on social media or other things they are passionate about doing through the library.
“One of our goals is to help us promote things, and because we’re new we really haven’t gotten to that portion of it yet. Encouraging people to visit the library for all the things we have, not just books, there are also many other ways that we support students. We are trying to put together different celebrations throughout the course of the year, but we are in our initial planning stages, so we hope that that helps publicize the library and allow people to be more active in everything that we have here,” Lingafelter said.
Library Advisory Board is open to anyone who has an interest in helping, promoting and improving the library. Students who are interested are able to go to the library to help before and after school, as well as both mods of AcLab.