One for the books: Library opens with ribbon-cutting ceremony

Eleanor Krugler and Hallie Faust

Reading nooks, study spaces and group collaboration rooms are available to students at Palo Alto High School with the opening of the newly remodeled library today at lunch.

Students walk around the new library at Palo Alto High School during lunch. The space includes a spiral staircase leading to bookshelves stocked with rare and historical volumes. “I think it’s great,” Librarian Rachel Kellerman said. “Kids are coming in and they’re excited.” Photo: Hallie Faust

The building unveiled today — following a short ribbon-cutting ceremony at lunch — is split into sections for students who prefer to work or study at different noise levels, according to Librarian Rachel Kellerman, who worked with architects on the redesign plans.

“There’s supposed to be three ways to study: silent in here [the silent studying room], group studies in our collaboration rooms, and then we have this big area for quiet study,” Kellerman said. “So we hope that’s the case. The Student Center will be open for more socializing.”

Throughout lunch, students and faculty admired the library’s new features, including sliding bookshelves and a winding staircase to an upper terrace.

Junior Ashley Guo said she is grateful to have a convenient study space again.

“It’s great that we finally have a space to work because I remember [during] freshman year, the library was a nice way to get work done, and it is nice that we have it back,” Guo said.

Students admire the bookshelves that surround the reading room of the library. The space also features a number of secluded reading nooks where students can enjoy a book in silence. “When things settle down … it’ll be great for kids to study,” Kellerman said. Photo: Ellie Krugler

Underclassmen, who didn’t attend Paly before the library’s renovation began, also got a chance to see the library at lunch.

“I don’t really have a comparison, but it looks great to me,” sophomore Michael Santullo said. “I am probably going to spend a lot of time here. It [the renovation] seemed to make it really friendly, for both people who want to come and read and people who want to come and study.”

Although the front hallway of the library features a notable “Guidance” sign, the guidance offices will likely stay in the Tower Building for the remainder of the school year, according to Principal Adam Paulson.

“I would really like to get guidance in [the library] over spring break, but we’re waiting on some furniture and some building issues that we have to resolve,” Paulson said. “So … it probably won’t be until next school year.”

The new library has displays of artwork done by Palo Alto High School art students. Walls of art are in the main hallway near the guidance office, which will likely not be used until next semester, according to Principal Adam Paulson. Photo: Ellie Krugler

Although no banners or signs invited students inside the library during lunch, the building’s halls were full of curious visitors.

“I didn’t really want to make a huge show, but I just wanted to give you guys [students] your building back,” Paulson said.

The public can tour the library complex during the final Centennial Celebration Facilities Open House on March 23.