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The Online Student Newspaper of Central Bucks High School South

Titan Tribune

The Online Student Newspaper of Central Bucks High School South

Titan Tribune

The Online Student Newspaper of Central Bucks High School South

Titan Tribune

Under New Leadership: New Librarian Steps Up to Fill Big Shoes

Under New Leadership: New Librarian Steps Up to Fill Big Shoes

The line out the door shows promising signs of life from the library. Students proceed to check in, holding phones to show proof of having already made reservations for a coveted spot. Seating 161, the library, run by Ms. Hannah Gilbert, has been injected with new life.

Ms. Gilbert used to be one of two AP Literature teachers as well as an English 12 teacher. According to her, her schedule was set in stone and planned out thoroughly. 

“I was happy in my world, my English nook,” she said. “And then Mr. Pecic retired, and I thought ‘Oo. This is my moment.’”

Ms. Gilbert is only the third librarian in CB South History, replacing Mr. Pecic. Despite getting a degree in library science years ago, she decided to teach English and that’s where she stayed for 19 years.

“There were a lot of people who applied for the job. So, I was very lucky.” Ms. Gilbert said.

Ms. Gilbert assumed the job of librarian at the end of last year, and in one summer, she transformed the library into a well-knit, working machine. Known for having a lasting effect on students, Mr. Pecic’s shoes require a certain kind of teacher to fill. 

“[Ms. Gilbert]’s the perfect person to be in the library,” said Mr. Melvin, an eleventh-grade English teacher. “She’s so smart, so well read, and so academic.” 

Though many people anticipated Ms. Gilbert’s reposition to the library, there were some concerns about whether the library would be as fun as it used to be.

“I was a bit worried when I heard Mrs. Gilbert was filling in, since she’s been known to be somewhat strict. But she’s actually pretty cool and really good at being librarian, so that was pretty cool,” said Nafis Johnson, a South senior.

This feedback didn’t faze Ms. Gilbert.

“Mr. Pecic did a good job at getting people in and talking,” Ms. Gilbert said. “Our big goal is to get as many people who can get a book to get a book.”

She details an example of a student who came in for a manual to study for military testing as well as a student who sought out a specific book from the graphic novel section.

“In theory, my job is to help students find resources. Sometimes that means they’re coming in with their class and they need all kinds of resources that we can provide. And sometimes they come in for things for themselves,” Ms. Gilbert said.

She went on to detail some of the struggles of working in the library, including the challenge of changing her own personal and library routine.

“Part of the struggle was not knowing anybody. All my students graduated last year. I knew the 18 kids in my Titan Forum, but everybody else was new to me,” Ms. Gilbert said.

In a way, Mrs. Gilbert shift to the library was a lot like a shift to a new school. Mr. Vogelsinger, a fellow English teacher, explained the difficulties of changing to a new position after being in one place for so long.

“It can be intimidating, to come in and say, ‘everything I’m teaching is new, but I’m going to make sure the students have an experience that is rich and meaningful instead of something that feels like it was taught by a novice,” Mr. Vogelsinger said.

“[Ms. Gilbert] is the perfect person for that,” Mr. Melvin said. “Making the library what it needs to be using her strengths.”

Mr. Melvin described the library as “an invaluable community resource.” He details how the library is a great resource for teachers as well as students. 

“Ms. Gilbert is a great resource not only for the kids, but for me as their classroom teacher, putting the right books in the right hands so we can do this interesting comparative study, or any other work students need to do.”

“With Mrs. Gilbert, I feel like we collaborate on things more,” said Mrs. Weiss, the South Library assistant. “We talk about and do things together.” 

The library is a solid place for all kinds of collaboration. When open during lunch and study halls, students can come together and find resources that support them. 

Mr. Melvin describes the library’s utility as both “a place to congregate” as well as “a place to really study and get things done.” There’s no longer a stigma around the library needing to be silent void of collaboration, Mrs. Gilbert explained.

“We’re more than just books” Mrs. Gilbert said. “You don’t need a book to enjoy all that the library can offer.”

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