Librarians: Most Underrated Staff Members

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Lasley and Wright stand for a picture behind their desks in the library. The two had currently rearranged the library due to upcoming projects with classes.

Librarians are the most underrated staff members. They do more than just check books out and organize bookshelves. Abigail Wright and Angela Lasley are prime examples of that. Angela Lasley is the school’s head librarian/media aide. Although she does check out books to students and organize bookshelves, that is not the only job she has.

“Some of our books spend very little time on the shelf because they’re always getting checked out. Popular books eventually show wear and tear, so I’m always looking for ways to extend their life and make them available for future OJH students, too. There’s only so much I can do with glue and tape, so it’s sad when we have to retire a book because it won’t stay ‘put together.’”

Lasley has been a librarian/media aide for four years, and she enjoys every minute of it.

I get to see EVERY student that attends OJH since we’re here for both 8th and 9th graders. And I get to see most of our students on a daily basis as they pass through the library space on their way to classes,” Lasley stated with a smile.

Lasley is one of the few, if not only staff member who works in the school with their spouse. John Lasley is her husband, and the guidance counselor for eighth grade. Most of the time, the two don’t even see each other on a regular school day.

“ I really don’t have the opportunity to interact with him very much. In fact, there are some days that I don’t even see or talk to him here at school. Sometimes, if I forget my lunch or I don’t pack a very good one, I can usually find his lunch in the refrigerator of the teacher kitchenette room,” she said chuckling.

The most common trouble for the couple lies in students confusing their titles.

“Sometimes students get us confused. I think they just hear our last name, and they don’t catch the title in front–Mr. or Mrs.–so they end up in the wrong place. Luckily, we’re both centrally located, so they don’t have too far to go to find the other Lasley!”

Lasley plays an important role in the school, but Abigail Wright also has a crucial part. Abigail Wright is the school’s Techbrarian, and this is her first year in this position. She has taught for almost 18 years, 12 of those at this school.

“My job’s official name is Techbrarian, which is a Library Media Specialist and Technology Instructional Coach all rolled into one,”

Last year, Wright was an ELA teacher for eighth grade. Even though she thoroughly enjoyed her job last year, this is definitely something else she adores.

“Every day is totally different from the day before and I never know what it might bring. My new job is full of challenges that I didn’t experience while teaching eighth grade, so my day is filled with a lot of problem solving which definitely keeps me on my toes,”   

Wright’s new role isn’t like her old one, but there are a few things the two jobs do have in common.

“Instead of teaching students in my own classroom like I used to in 8th grade ELA, I also go into classrooms and help teachers with using technology in their classes or help teach students how to research by accessing our library’s databases. I also help students find books they might be interested in reading along with helping to solve any technology problems with students and teachers. If I can’t figure it out then I find someone who can help us fix the problem so their technology is up and running quickly,” stated Wright. “I take care of the adding and deleting books from the library. One other thing that I do is manage and maintain the Makerspace in the library which is an interactive, hands-on design and building space where students can explore new ideas through technology. I do still get to interact with students and work with books and reading which I have always loved.”

Wright loves her new job, and can’t find anything negative about the experience her new job brings everyday.

“I can’t think of anything that I find frustrating because I really, really love my new job!”

Lasley and Wright both play two important roles in the school. Without them, books wouldn’t be mended and replaced, and computers wouldn’t be repaired back to their usual standard.