Filing and sorting books are not the only tasks that librarians at GHS complete daily. Circulation Assistant Kathleen Mourek and Library Assistant Jeanne Perozek both work in the front desk at the Geneva High School Library and are phenomenal sources when it comes to seeking success at GHS.
“It’s important for us to have a relationship with the students so they can come to us and ask us any questions that they may need,” comments Mrs. Perozek. The two librarians both take the initiative to be friendly with students and learn names, establishing trust and relationships.
Research, finding books, citing sources, troubleshooting devices, and formatting word documents are only a handful of things that Mrs. Mourek and Mrs. Perozek can help with.
“We don’t just add any book to the library, so we have to research what books we think are popular because we only have a limited amount of money, and you know, we have to spend it wisely,” says Mrs. Perozek. Those books do not solely include free reading—they also include a vast majority of researching materials used by students on the daily to help them with their studies.
Riley Kafka, GHS senior, goes to the library every day for her Independent Study. “They are really nice and extremely welcoming overall,” says Kafka. “I like the study space and it helps me concentrate.” Thanks to the environment provided and enforced by the GHS librarians, Kafka can continue her studies without interruption. She also has two knowledgeable sources at the front desk when it comes to any technical errors that can interfere with her work time.
Ms. Woodruff, a GHS English Teacher, also praises the GHS librarians for how flexible and “accommodating” they are, especially with her Creative Writing classes. During the poetry unit when her students are writing their found poems, the librarians are incredible when it comes to “helping students access the materials they need.”
The head librarian at GHS, Mrs. Stegenga, is also a critical source in the library. Juniors largely rely on Stegenga for their research papers, knowing that she can always point them in the right direction. “The first question I ask students is what information they’re really hunting,” notes Stegenga when asked about her process to help students seeks success.
“I focus on trying to help students identify a reliable source versus an unreliable source,” says Mrs. Stegenga. “I think in today’s society when we are just constantly bombarded with information from all directions, its super important for students to be able to identify what is legitimate and what isn’t.” Mastering such skills will be crucial for students to use not only in school but also later in life.
She does a lot of circulating around the library, stepping up and asking students if they need help with anything they may be working on. Due to her background in English, Mrs. Stegenga has proofread for many students and helped them access certain databases, as she used to work as an English teacher at GHS.
Next year, Mrs. Stegenga hopes to launch a Research Assistant platform online for when students need any research help when working at home. It’s still in the works, but nonetheless is a concept bound to benefit GHS students in positive manner and help guide them on the road to success.