By Janna Hopper/Staff Writer
Photo Caption: The teen room in Hancock County Public Library is located in the back by the computer center alongside many movies available for checkout.
Sometimes you just need a moment to relax with a good book, or a quiet place to study and do school work. When this is the case, Hancock County Public Library has your back. In a student poll of 72 GCHS students, over 55% said that they visited the library after school or over the weekends. Kristen Schutt, the library’s Teen Services Librarian for seven years, says that the teen room of the library is used every day that there is school, largely by junior high students, but also by some from the high school.
While a large number of students polled responded that they don’t go to the library very often, and typically don’t stay for long, there was a number of others who indicated that they stick around and spend time using the study rooms in order to get work done. Schutt remarks that “If they are here for the books they usually just grab them and go; they don’t really linger.” But she also says that kids do drop by to hang out after school, and this was reflected in a number of student comments on how they spend their time at the library.
But the library is more than just a place to grab a book or a quiet seat; they also support multiple events throughout the year. Schutt says that coming in October an event called Maker Monday will have “a zombie theme, taking Barbies and turning them into zombies. We’re also taking apart electronics to add to those, that should be really fun. And then of course National Pizza Month, so there will definitely be some pizza. So all kinds of fun stuff.” Keep an eye out for these events by checking out HCPL’s calendar at hcplibrary.org.
Many of the students polled talked about the library’s environment, its welcoming atmosphere and peaceful quiet being one of their favorite things about the library. A lot of work goes into keeping the library set up right, as Schutt explains. There is a lot of collaboration that goes into making sure the library is set up right and ready for all who enter.
The library doesn’t just contain books, though it certainly has plenty. It also has many other resources on offer, from digital student cards giving access to online resources and tutors, to the availability of checking out video games and then being able to play them in the teen room. Schutt’s comment on these resources was “It’s all free, it’s no money. Especially those video games, you don’t know if you like a game until you play it and you can try it out before you buy it, if you buy it.” The library’s Reference Librarian, Nicole Scurlock, furthers this by saying that the goal of the library is “to serve the needs of all community members by providing accessible quality information services and resources.” These resources are available to everyone, so don’t hesitate to stop by and use them.
Overall, it would seem that the library is very well loved by those who use it. 78% of 59 student responses rated the library at four to five stars out of a total of five. When asked if there was something they would want to change about the library, many said there was nothing they would want to change. So as Schutt said, there’s “Lots of stuff to do here. So, come on down, check it out, use your e-library card.”