Explore Manual: the library

Isabella Bonilla

The last two years have been undeniably odd for Manual students and has led to a great deal of disparity between what students looked like before COVID-19 compared to now. The current sophomores spent a relative month or so (if any time at all) within the school building and upon returning still had restrictions and much confusion about where to go and what to do. Some students, due to the different school rule and operation conditions, are still unaware of all that Manual has to offer. Therefore, it is necessary to offer clarification and perhaps a small amount of guidance towards the lesser known parts of the building. For example, many are unaware of the services and opportunities offered at the library. 

Manual’s library makes its home in room 210. This is located on the second floor of the building, on the same side as the freshman cafeteria. Hours of operation run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., unless otherwise posted. 

Students may come to the library in order to use a computer, printer, check out a book, have a quiet space for a few minutes and so much more. Students may utilize the library during a study skills or other permitting block, with teacher permission and signed agenda. Students may also come during their lunch block (make sure you have your student ID) or before/after school. There is now an electronic sign-in at the circulation desk. 

The left hand side of the library features the majority of books, all shelved according to the Dewey Decimal system. There are all manner of fiction books, graphic novels, manga, non-fiction works extending from mental health to world religions and beyond and more. The right side of the library encompasses more of a communal/work space and has AP textbook resources, other educational resources and some of the fiction section. A decorated display of the latest/top books is also set up on the right side and can provide suggestions for your next literary adventure. 

Students may check out any library book for free, whether it be a physical copy, eBook or ABDO eBook. Their collection encompasses a wide variety of genres and formats. The Manual High Library also has a book submission form on their website home page, in case you’d like to suggest the library get a book not already in inventory. Graphic novels and books with more diverse characters have been a hot commodity as of late. Mrs. Causey, one of our school librarians, takes time to research and order many new books for our school collection she believes students will enjoy. 

The library is expanding its collection and needs to make more room among its shelves; therefore, the librarians have decided to give away free books to students. There are a few carts on the right hand side of the library labeled ‘Free Books’ that students can take from. 

There are open tables or a set of cubicle tables to sit and work at. Multiple computers are set up, with the option to either stand or sit depending on the location of the screen. There are currently two MAC computers out on the floor with hopefully a third one to soon join.Students may use any open computer freely and within reasonable bounds. Students may also print in black and white from one of the several printers for free; again, within reasonable bounds. There are also copy machines. If you’re unsure of how to do something or worried about utilizing a certain resource, don’t hesitate to ask a librarian or a library aid. 

The open tables located on the right side of the library are a space for work or more communal activities. A case of board games has been added for this benefit. Activities such as origami have also been held before and are a usual occurrence multiple times a year, so make sure to ask around or come to the library and see the latest. February’s activity will involve friendship bracelet making. 

Yet another table near the printers and one of the standing computer tables features an array of school materials for in-house use. Markers, pencils, erasers, scissors, tape and more have been laid out for any projects or that last minute utensil needed. Please be mindful to return anything used and clean up your workspace afterwards. It helps keep a positive and community atmosphere, not to mention it’s a sign of respect. 

While in the library, you may also notice the abundance of plants and small succulents. Please do no harm to these creatures. Admire their beauty, but please do not take any without permission. They help create a calming aura and promote wellness within this space. Students may have the opportunity to take home a plant from the library come spring, as they will be propagated and many small plantlings will soon appear along the window ledges. 

Outside of school and school hours, you may get free wi-fi, computer access, book access, printer access and a quality study environment at your local library. The Louisville Free Library system is rather extensive and hosts 17 branches spread throughout the city. All you need is a library card, which is completely free to any Louisville resident. Check out their website for hours of operation and other resources. 

No article could do justice in explaining the welcoming, communal environment the library creates here at Manual. Students may find an incredibly extensive collection of books, resources and activities here, not to mention a safe space.