Obsolete Library Reference Section Donated to Classrooms


Lucy Hughitt

Librarian, Therese Lewis poses with one of the books that is currently in the reference section. The library is giving away the section to make room for storage, like the shelves behind her.

Sandhya Ganesan, Feature Editor

San Juan Hills high schools increasing size has led to an increase in the need for more storage, and a decrease in the need for reference textbooks.

The reference textbooks are volumes of text that cover various topics, from music to mental health. These textbooks cannot be checked out of the library, but were always available to the students who were in the library.

Some of the other books in the reference section include the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, The Roaring Twenties, the Encyclopedia of Mental Health, and a 29 book set of Dictionaries about Music and Musicians.

“The reference section is obsolete, basically, hardback novels aren’t needed in the reference section because all of that information is available to you on the internet now,” said librarian, Therese Lewis.

“Online information will always be more up to date than even a couple-of-years old book and generally speaking it is more efficient to gather that information through search engines,” Eric Noble, who was looking to take some of the reference books into his own library.

“The school is growing by hundreds of students each year. Every student has an average of 5 books each, so the next two years we are probably going to take in another probably 2500 textbooks to give to those students,” Lewis said.

Part of me is sad to see books disappearing, but it also makes a great deal of financial and practical sense to switch more and more to online for reference materials,

— Eric Noble

All the reference textbooks were able to be acquired by teachers, and the rest were given to charity.

Rita Kolenic, the chair of the science department took some books, along with the rest of her science department. “Some examples were Physics reference books for the physics teachers, anatomy books for the anatomy teachers, evolution books for the biology teachers, and marine and oceanology books for the Ecology teacher,” said Kolenic.

To Noble, head of the English department, taking some of the reference books into his classroom seemed problematic. “While I think some of the information in the reference books is interesting, I had a hard time seeing myself or my students using them during class,” Noble said.

Lewis emphasized that the reference section going away is not indicative of books becoming obsolete, but the growing inclination to research reference related material online.

“There’s always going to be a place for everyone to read. We will always have writers, and they will always be people like me who will always love to have a book in their hand,” Lewis said.

“The reference material cannot be checked out of the library, it just stays here for research. We have Chromebooks for you guys to use now, so it’s really not needed anymore,” said Lewis.

“To be honest, part of me is sad to see books disappearing, but it also makes a great deal of financial and practical sense to switch more and more to online for reference materials,” Noble said.