MH Library Undergoes Changes


Christopher Tava, Copy Editor

Over the past decade, libraries have had to adjust to the rise of digital information on the internet. Morris Hills is no exception, and our very own librarian, Mrs. Lazzaro, has taken the initiative to make our library more inviting and student-focused.

During her 21 years at Morris Hills as the librarian, one of Mrs. Lazzaro’s goals was to remove the many stacks of books that lined the library walls. Not only did they take up a lot of space, but they served little purpose in the digital age. “No one is reading an 800-page biography anymore,” Mrs. Lazzaro explained, when they could look up the same information on in a fraction of the time. The convenience of online information meant that students were not coming to the library to look for such biographies. Stacks of books lying around, which took up a tremendous amount of space and were not used often, prevented the creation of something like a literary center. Once the books were gone, the reading specialist at Morris Hills, Mrs. Feiss, started working with students in the now-clear library section.

When asked about the role of a literary center in the Morris Hills community, Mrs. Feiss had ample words to describe her vision for it. Not only will the literary center house the school’s Supplemental Reading Program, but tutoring done by the National English Honor Society will take place there. Mrs. Feiss also described the literary center as a place for classroom teachers to send “small groups or individual students who need assistance with current classwork.”

The library has also undergone a years-long “weeding” process to streamline information for students. Starting with the fiction section seven years ago and then with the reference section five years ago, Mrs. Lazzaro lowered the number of books in the Morris Hills collection from 22,000 to 13,000. Despite having a final goal of 10,000 books, the “weeding” process is both, according to the book-loving Mrs. Lazzaro, “painstaking” and the worst part of her job. However, her priority is to get rid of all the books that either are falling apart or contain out-of-date information due to their lack of usefulness for students.

Combining student feedback and her personal observations, Mrs. Lazzaro wants to expand the amount of seating in the library for students. In her opinion, the circulation desk is too large for its purpose, and making it smaller would allow students to spread out more across the library.

Mrs. Toriello, the District Director of Instructional Services for Language Arts, largely agreed with Mrs. Lazzaro about the nature of the changes at the library. There should be thoughtful consideration towards “mak[ing] sure what we have is the most current,” according to Mrs. Toriello. 

The ultimate goal for Mrs. Lazzaro and the Board of Education is to ensure the library is accessible to the student body. These changes have already benefited the students at Morris Hills.