Kellerman reveals new plans for library

Becca Raffel and Phoebe So

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Looking hopefully into the future, Palo Alto High School librarians plan for the construction of the new library, which will feature an enlarged studying area and will host other functions such as the guidance and counseling centers.

“We [the library] are part of the bond responsible for the two buildings going up,” librarian Rachel Kellerman said. “As soon as those two buildings are done — hopefully, knock on wood, in the next school year supposedly — we will move into temporary facilities … and hopefully we’ll be ready to remodel this whole building.”

After the new social studies building is completed, the library will temporarily move into the 300 building for the duration of its construction.

“We’re planning to move into the 300 building, it will be our temporary space,” Kellerman said. “Social studies is moving into one of the two story buildings.”

After renovation, the future library space will also serve other functions along with those that it serves now.

“The library will be here, student activities office will be here, the administration, guidance and counseling center will probably also be here,” Kellerman said.

The administration, guidance and counseling center will be transferred to the new library building after construction instead of residing in the Tower Building as they do now.

“The Tower Building is going to have what they call the first responders, so attendance, people like Ms. Queen [the receptionist] will be there, the health office will be there, I imagine that the auditor will be there,” Kellerman said.

Currently, architects are designing the new library building.

“We started designing it [the new library] last year, so we’re in that process right now,” Kellerman said. “We’re working with the same architects that designed the other two buildings … and they’re also designing the buildings at Gunn.”

After construction, the library will be expanded and have for increased functionality. For example, the silent study room will be increased and four group study rooms will be included in the new library.

“We’ll have a silent study room, it will be bigger, we’ll probably have four group study rooms that you can check out with your library card just like colleges and universities have,” Kellerman said. “We [the library] will push out onto the Quad [and] we’ll probably end up entering in a hallway situation so that this won’t be a pass through … it’ll be much more of a functional building for everybody.”

Students can expect the new library to be a new and improved version of what they see today, with the lounge chairs in the front and silent study room toward the back.

“We’ve tried to sort of simulate what we’d like to do,” Kellerman said. “The idea would be when you enter, we’d have casual reading, a relaxation area … and as you walk in, the idea would be that it gets a little quieter.”

Not everything about the library will be completely different, however. Kellerman still plans on having the same tables and book shelves that are there now, or replacing them with a similar version.

“We’d also have the kinds of study areas that we have now with the chairs and tables. And instead of having the [bookshelves] in the middle, which impedes our supervision, we would have them around the perimeter of the room.”

As for the books in the library themselves, they will also remain the same.

“We have now weeded our facility so that we have the collection that we are going to keep, which is between 10 to 15 thousand books, and then of course we have our resource system as well,” Kellerman said.

According to Kellerman, the purpose of the new library is to increase the functionality of the building.

“So that’s the plan,” Kellerman said. “And that seems to be what libraries these days are doing – building for functionality.”