COVID-19, Computers, and Books, Oh My!


Carol Villines and Heather Peters strive to make the library a welcoming environment that serves student needs even during a pandemic.

Prior to COVID-19, the library was a quiet, learning environment that students chose opposed to the overbearing noise of the commons. Anyone was welcome to do homework, print, or curl up with a book. But now there are more restrictions.

The library and media center are staples in regards to the school’s function. With  everyone having to do schoolwork via chromebooks, the staff has taken the responsibility of distributing, fixing, and accounting for the used technology. 

“We have a lot of encounters with technology, and with chromebooks we try to do everything before sending them to the tech department,” said Heather Peters, school librarian.

Lukas Wigington, full time tech repair specialist, had an extensive shift in his daily job here at our school.

“Last year a lot of my job was helping with tech in classrooms, and events such as, plays, band, orchestra, and choir concerts,” Wigington said. “This year did a 180. Chromebooks were in carts, but now every student has one in their possession. So there are more possibilities for damaging them.”

  Technology is not the only change the virus has inflicted upon our library. To abide by safety regulations, students are no longer permitted to freely peruse the vast collection of books. That has become a hindrance to the whole system; however, our librarians created an entire new one. To act according to the safety standards and still encourage reading in students, they have put every available title on a website that is accessible to all students. 

With the new system and the way it works, Peters has found that students are getting books they normally wouldn’t have if left to their own searching, she said. 

Peters and her co-workers, such as Carol Villines, fellow librarian, and Sloan Early, library aid, have put together several activities and displays in the past. Their entire goal has always been to develop relationships with students.

Just building that rapport with students, gaining relationships with them is the thing Villines loves most about her job, she said. 

This assiduous library team is deserving of so much more appreciation than most students and staff members at RHS realize. 

“We have a lot more responsibilities as a group and I couldn’t do it without Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Villines and the rest of the library staff,” Wigington said.