The student news site of Lambert High School

The Lambert Post

The student news site of Lambert High School

The Lambert Post

The student news site of Lambert High School

The Lambert Post

Lambert’s Media Center: A Sanctuary for Learning

Benjamin Weiss
Mrs. Laguaite at the media center’s front desk. Taken by Benjamin Weiss on April 8, 2024.

The media center is a place where students can work on their schoolwork, use desktop computers, check out books, print documents, cut butcher paper, collaborate with peers on group projects and so much more. Mrs. Laguaite, Lambert’s media specialist, leads all aspects of the media center and takes on every responsibility to ensure it is a safe, respectful and efficient space for students.

“I’ve been at Lambert for 12 years; this school is in my district,” Mrs. Laguaite said.  “I really wanted to work to kind of give back to the community in which I live in.”

The media center offers pencils, pens, butcher paper, graphing paper, scissors, glue sticks, staplers, rulers, hole-punchers, tape, protractors, calculators, and anything else that students need to be successful with their schoolwork. On a daily basis, Mrs. Laguaite can be found ensuring that such supplies are well-stocked or assisting students with any problems that they may encounter while working.

“It’s important to me that, when students walk into the media center, they will have everything they need to do their schoolwork or anything else they’re trying to work on,” Mrs. Laguaite said. “Students who come up to my desk will usually ask for a book, a resource, help with printing, help with formatting papers or Canva. I’m here to support the students.”

One of Mrs. Laguaite’s essential obligations to the function of the library is assembling orders of new books for the students at Lambert. While creating a list of books to order, Mrs. Laguaite reads reviews from The New York Times book lists and from what is popular in Amazon’s trendy young adult category to ensure quality and sufficient interest.

A picture of bookshelves in the back storage room of the media center. Taken by Benjamin Weiss on April 8, 2024.

“When I’m placing an order, I’m looking for books that are popular and interesting to Lambert’s young adults,” Mrs. Laguaite said.

Even though so much at school and in modern life has gone digital, many students still prefer to check out physical books (fiction being the most popular) rather than digital ebooks or online PDFs. Those who enjoy the touch of a book’s cover and the sound of a page turning are more than welcome to the library’s collection of fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, textbooks, and more.

“Most students are focused on what they can get in print,” Mrs. Laguaite said. “It’s interesting because I do have ebooks as well, but whenever I suggest an ebook, most of the time students will say ‘Okay, um, but do you have it in print?’”

One major development that has led to high schoolers preferring to read and check out books from their library is the phenomenon of BookTok. Originating from the popular social media app TikTok, BookTok is a viral subcommunity that focuses on reviews, recommendations, discussion and the aesthetic romanticization of books and literature in the young adult genre.

A picture of the fiction section in the media center. Taken by Benjamin Weiss on April 8, 2024.

“Fiction is the category that checks out the most due to BookTok,” Mrs. Laguaite said. “I have had a lot of kids come in here saying that they saw a book on BookTok, asking if I have it, which is great because it helps libraries and media centers promote their fiction category and their books in general.”

But Lambert’s media center serves a much deeper purpose than offering school supplies, printing and books. The media center is a collaborative space for students to reach their academic potential and efficiently complete their schoolwork to the best of their abilities. Almost every seating arrangement in the media center is designed to incorporate multiple students working together.

A picture of the media center. Taken by Benjamin Weiss on April 8, 2024.

“The media center is a space for everyone, which is the beautiful thing about it,” Mrs. Laguaite said. “It’s always used, it’s always busy, and that’s what we want.”

Though the media center has physically changed throughout the years in terms of its furniture, seating options, color scheme(s), technology and books available, it has never lost its true purpose. It is likely that this pattern will live on as Mrs. Laguaite continues to lead the library to be a safe, respectful and efficient space for all students.

A visual comparison of the media center’s change through time. Top images are courtesy of Lambert High School (circa 2009), bottom images were taken by Benjamin Weiss on April 8, 2024.

“I hope that everybody loves their library as much as I do,” Mrs. Laguaite said. “And I hope that’s always the case moving forward, that people will remember to use their local libraries for the wealth of information available and for the people whose expertise can help them.”

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