The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Trying to beat the clock

Students need more library time

Students looking for a quiet place to do their homework will be pleased to know that South’s library is equipped with comfortable chairs, quiet areas for independent work, and communal areas that encourage collaboration. However, the benefits of this useful environment are only available for a mere 45 minutes instead of the hours needed by students to complete homework after school. 

In past years, the library had been open until 4:30 p.m. rather than just 4:00 p.m., Head Librarian Christi Shaner explained. This earlier closing time is a recent change due to staffing cuts and funding issues, she said.

“Once [a library staff member] hits those eight hours [in one day], then [the district] would have to start paying them overtime,” Shaner said. “That factors into the equation for [extended] hours [because] four o’clock is the latest our employees are able to stay.”

The library was previously able to work around this issue by bringing in staff that had the time in their schedules to supervise students in the library, Shaner explained. However, as other districts in the area had to bring in an additional set of staff in the afternoon to enable extended hours for their libraries, the staffing issue resurfaced, she explained.

“[The district] is trying to fill all the holes of where these staff members can go, like fitting puzzle pieces together,” Shaner said.

The Oracle Editorial Board believes the administration should take action to prioritize students’ access to study resources, spaces, and time after school in the library. In the rigorous academic environment of South, it is necessary that the administration finds the staff to extend the library hours to 4:30 p.m. or later. 

A lack of time for students’ academic work applies not only to study spaces and resources, but to the time they are given for assessments they make up as well. Due to the fire at South in May, the Test Center moved into the library, affecting its hours of operation and accessibility, Margaret Balabanos-Bank, Test Center Supervisor, said.

“Another [issue] with the location is that the library closes at 4:00 p.m. while [the Test Center] closes at 4:30 p.m.,” Balabanos-Bank said. “If you’re not in by 4:00 p.m., you can’t get in [to take] your test.” 

These hours become increasingly problematic for students who do not have a Student-Reserved Time (SRT), sophomore Yustyna Lozan expressed. Lozan believes the Test Center and library hours are not enough when you consider that factor.

“I don’t have an SRT, [which] is a pretty big problem because if I miss one day and I have a test or quiz, I don’t know how to make them up,” Lozan said. 

In addition, Lozan, like a number of other students, is restricted to the schedule of the buses, meaning she arrives at school at 7:30 a.m. and perpetually has limited time to make up assessments before school. Even if she wanted to attempt to make use of the library after school, the activities bus leaves at 5:00 p.m., and because of the library’s 4:00 p.m. close, Lozan has nowhere to go for the next hour if she wants to study.

“You’re just sitting and waiting, but during that time, you [could have been] studying [in the library],” Lozan said.

In order to be able to make efficient use of their time and manage their time better throughout the day, it is essential for students to have the library and test center remain open later.


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