Dunbar’s Library Turns a New Page

Change is inevitable, and the Dunbar library is just one example of how the school was revamped over the summer vacation. Over the break, Mrs. Summer Perry became the new librarian after Mrs. Lynda Short announced her retirement in May.

This new position was a transition Mrs. Perry had been working toward. Since the age of seven, Mrs. Perry said she has wanted to be involved in education. However, the thought of becoming a librarian did not enter her mind until she began her teaching career.

“During my fifth year of teaching, I took on a student teacher, and I was given three free classes at UK for the semester, so I decided to start working on my master’s degree to become a librarian,” said Mrs. Perry.

Dunbar students were excited to see a fresh, yet familiar, face in the library this school year. Last year, Mrs. Perry taught junior English at Dunbar, and she is well-connected with the student body and faculty at school.

“I love being in the position to help students,” she said. “The helping nature of teaching is what drew me to being a librarian.”

The library is open at 7:45 am and closes at 4 pm every day except Friday when it closes at 3:30. The time changes are already bringing a change in the atmosphere of the library, according to Mrs. Perry.

“We typically have about 150 students in the library in the mornings,” said Mrs. Perry. “My dream is that the library will become the hub of Dunbar.”

Her hiring coincides with other changes in the library, such as the rearrangement of the 18,000 titles in the fiction section.

Mrs. Perry said, “Next year, we are ‘genre-fying’ the library to be more user friendly. The fiction section is currently organized from A-Z, but next year there will be a romance section, a science-fiction section and so on. This will make the library more comfortable for browsing.”

The longest-spanning change in the library is the addition of a coffee shop, an idea that Principal Betsy Rains has pursued since 2011. Ms. Susan Doring’s architecture students began the blueprints for the shop that school year.

“Every student was instructed to design what they wanted in a coffee shop for the school,” said Ms. Doring. “The students presented their designs in front of a committee of staff and former student Ariem Natour’s design was chosen.”

The shop will be decorated with paintings and decorated tables, created by Dunbar students during the 2012-2013 school year.

“Students in the Foundations classes built the tables, and the table tops were painted by Ms. Kathleen Rehner’s art students,” said Ms. Doring.

The librarians hope that the coffee shop will further contribute to the development of transforming the library into a hangout for students. Along with Reading Extravaganza on Nov. 12 and new student-led book clubs beginning spring semester, students have many more opportunities to get involved than in previous years.

Another major change is the movement of the technology office out of the library. Mrs. Kim Overstreet left the library for room 203, which is now titled the Technology Resource Center.

“Originally, my students had to go back and forth between classrooms,” said Mrs. Overstreet. “I like being in a centrally-located office.”

The new shift in offices allows Mrs. Overstreet and Mr. Jim Adams, both of whom are technology supervisors, to work in the same classroom.

“I love being in a room with Mr. Adams and the students this year,” said Mrs. Overstreet. “There is room for students to be set up on computers and areas to train teachers. I can do it all at the same time.”

Mrs. Overstreet and Mr. Adams encourage students to come to their office first for technology dilemmas. They can help students with setting up Wi-Fi on a personal device, accessing student e-mail and SkyDrive, and they can aid with projects and assignments requiring technology.

With all of the changes made this year, the librarians and technology supervisors hope that students will be more apt to take advantage of these numerous amenities that Dunbar has to offer.