The Duo Keeping the Library Running
By Isaac Escamilla
If you have been a student on the Rialto High School campus, you have probably been to the library, either to the textbook checkout window near the D building or to check out a book during your English class. Perhaps you’ve even gone in because your class couldn’t have students inside and the library would become your temporary classroom.
Although you may have met them both very briefly during your time on campus, who is keeping both the library and textbook center running?
Library Technician Mrs. Katy Robles has been working as a library technician for Rialto High School handling the front-end operation of the library since 2010, or 13 years, joyfully taking up the task of both operating the library and making sure books and equipment are checked out properly, like headphones for testing.
Library Technician Mrs. Gayle Grawe handles the back-end operation of the library located in the text bookroom ordering and checking out novels and textbooks for teachers and assisting teachers with materials. They are the backbone of many classes, even if not known to themselves, you can see them both working alongside each other to keep the library running.
When asked why she had become a library technician, Robles paused for a few seconds, before responding, “I thought it was a good way to be able to connect with the students on campus.”
At the beginning of every year, Robles introduces all of the incoming freshmen students to the library at Rialto High School, showing them the basics of how to look up books and check them out. This process begins in August and ends in late September.
Another method for connecting with students is the opening of the library during lunch, where students would be able to finish their classwork, read and check out books, and study. As of October 3, the library has barely opened its doors to the student body during lunch when there are no classes scheduled. Robles remarked, “I enjoy working with the students and their reading and researching.”
One unexpected problem that had arisen for both Robles and Grawe was a massive amount of missing items and fines. “I didn’t expect that a lot of my duties would be collecting fines,” Robles says about the issue. “I had expected to assist students more than ask students about fines, alongside collecting them.”
An issue in particular was students transferring to other schools, and leaving without returning textbooks, books, and their laptops. Senior Dulce Calero, a library assistant during her third period said, “One of my tasks for a day or two was stuffing letters inside of envelopes, all for kids who had transferred without giving back items.”
Mrs. Grawe has to deal with the fines as well, stating, “I spend hours every year calling students out trying to get them to return previous years materials, most being from middle school that have carried over.”
27% of the senior class still have fines on their account that need to be cleared in order to participate in senior activities. Grawe remarked, “It is still a lot better than when I first got here in 2010.” Both Mrs. Robles and Mrs. Grawe agree that students should turn in their materials at the end of the school year they were issued.
If there is one constant throughout the year, it is that the library is open to all who need it, and if one has any questions, they can feel better knowing that both Mrs. Robles and Mrs. Grawe are there to help them with their needs.