Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 18, 2018

Facelift for Fairfield High School library

By Jon Gilrain, Ledger correspondent | May 04, 2018
Photo by: JON GILRAIN/Ledger photo Fairfield High School librarian Jolene Bullis is proud of the renovations to the library completed earlier this year.

Fairfield High School recently renovated its library creating a clean, open and inviting space for students to relax and focus on their studies.

The Ledger sat down with librarian Jolene Bullis to talk about the library and its fresh coat of paint.

Walking into the library one is struck by the aesthetics of light and spaciousness. On the one end are large wooden tables that beg for books and projects to be spread over their generous surfaces. The larger part of the room is open with clusters of chairs for students to gather or find their own space, ringed by wooden book shelves against the walls.

The ceiling lights are numerous and appropriate to an environment dedicated to reading and learning, yet are slightly understated in their intensity so as to not be harsh. The newly painted white walls and clean new ceiling tiles provide reflectivity giving the light an almost three-dimensional quality.

The new carpet’s pattern of muted, but pleasant neutral gradients tie the large space together with a feeling of inviting depth. The wall opposite the entrance has doors to three conference rooms and the librarian’s office and the far wall has a large window looking in on the library’s second room, which hosts nonfiction books and additional study and meeting space.

“The carpet was from 1988. It was originally probably a burgundy color, but it had faded out to an ugly pink,” Bullis said. “It had rips in it and I had patched it with hot-pink duct tape, and it was pretty bad. So they replaced the carpet and the paint.”

Bullis continued, “The walls were kind of a 1980s peachy-tan color. They did the ceiling tiles and the lighting was brighter, but it was harsh lighting. Now it makes me smile when I come in here.”

Bullis has been librarian at FHS for six years, as well as yearbook advisor and assistant speech teacher. She had previous experience as a librarian and special education teacher at CAL Community School in Lattimer. Her mother was also a school librarian.

The FHS library offers many services to students beyond book checkout and study spaces such as online access to the catalog and other databases useful in academics. Loaner computers are available if a student’s school-issued laptop is in for repair or forgotten for the day. The library also lends video cameras for school projects and art supplies.

“Students come in to read, they come in to work together and to socialize. They come in for books and to record things for projects,” she added.

Speaking of work yet to be done, Bullis mentioned the secondary room needing the same treatment as well as replacing furniture, both the seating and the large heavy tables which are not easy to move.

“I’m not done yet. I want there to be more art on the walls and get new furniture,” she said. “Principal [Brian] Stone is working to see if we can generate some community involvement in getting the furniture replaced.”

Stone, who was directly involved with the renovations, was enthusiastic about the upgrades and impressed with the quality of work.

“I’m excited for our kids. It’s a nice open space that students feel a little more comfortable collaborating in,” he said. “I see more kids in there than I saw before. They enjoy the space and so we’re very fortunate. I really applaud the crew that came in and did all the work including Mr. [Jeff] Koontz, the facilities director and the rest of the men.”

Comments (1)
Posted by: Glen Joseph Peiffer | May 06, 2018 17:43

I guess I prefer the old fashion study carrel that gives a student privacy and that is quiet so that you can concentrate. The Fairfield space is great for a social gathering with lots of talking.

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