The Paly Voice

Library extends operating hours

Grant Raffel, Author

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The library will extend its hours in an effort to help students.

– Grant Raffel

Due to increasing demand, the Palo Alto High School library is extending its hours for the remainder of the semester in an effort to meet the needs of students, according to Special Education Department Secretary Mary Ellen Bena.

Bena, who works in the library after school, noticed that several students would stay past the 5 p.m. closing time so they could finish their work and saw the demand for extending the library’s hours.

“A lot of times I’d get students that would say, ‘Can you stay for 10 more minutes,’ or, ‘Can you stay for another half hour,’ or a student walks in who has just come from practice,” Bena said.  “I found myself staying even an [extra] hour.  I thought ‘Wow, there is obviously a need [to stay open longer]’. ”

Thus, the library will now remain open for an extra hour every Wednesday, until 6 p.m. Bena is volunteering for this extra hour and indicated that she enjoys spending time around the kids since her own kids are no longer around the house.

Bena stressed the fact that, as long as at least one student is taking advantage of the extra time, the effort will be a success.

“What’s significant is that the service is there,” she said.  “To me, success is even measured in one student.  If I have one student there that is getting their homework done or preparing for a test, I think that’s successful.”

Bena also mentioned that the library will push back its closing time even further during Dead Week and Finals Week, as it did this past semester, to 8 p.m.

“The demand is really there,” Bena said.  “We’ll probably take a closer look and see if we need to [extend hours] even the week before that.  We could evaluate that as time goes on.”

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