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Lincoln High School library needs community’s help

Texting or online voting required for grant contest
By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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Lincoln High School’s principal and librarian hope the school will win a grant to help update the library to give students a Starbucks-like atmosphere.

The goal is to create an inviting place with comfortable furniture and access to information via the computers and books for students, according to Principal Jay Berns. 

The library is a nominee in The Clorox Company’s Power a Bright Future grant program. Whichever nominee receives the most votes by text or online will be awarded the $50,000 grand prize grant. The next top vote-getters in the Play, Create and Explore categories respectively will each be awarded a $25,000 grant.

Text 2050pbf to 95248 or go to https://powerabrightfuture.clorox.com/nominees.detail/?nid=2050 to vote for Lincoln High School through Dec. 19. Message and data rates may apply.

“Our goal is to have something inviting and make the library up to date,” Berns said.

Librarian Belinda Silva said the school needs $100,000 to purchase more books, computers, teen-friendly furniture and carpeting.

“We need 14 tables, 90 wooden chairs and six lounge chairs,” Silva said. “The seniors helped me pick out the furniture. They’re upset they will not be here to enjoy them but they know they will be leaving a legacy for future Lincoln High School students.”

Junior Breanne Goodson, 16, said the library needs more computers.

“There’s always a whole bunch of kids who need computers. The computer lab is never open because teachers have classes using them and students are fighting over computers,” Goodson said. “I have a computer at home but I have a few friends who don’t. They have to come into the library in the morning or at lunch to finish an assignment and they can’t.”

The library’s main part has four computers for student use. A door separates the library and the computer lab but a wall that juts out into the room blocks the librarian’s view so she can’t open the lab for safety reasons, Silva said. That lab has 42 computers.

A three-year remodel of the library that started in the 2011-2012 school year calls for the purchase of an additional 18 computers. Over the Christmas break, that wall will be knocked down so Silva can open the computer lab to students during the lunch period.

The library remodel will include a larger college and career center, a book display to showcase new books and highlight special events, a permanent art gallery, enough space following renovations to hold two classes of 36 students and shelving space to supply 20 books per student.

The library shelves currently hold enough books to provide 3.6 books per student, Silva said. There are 5,032 books on the shelves with some duplicates.

With the expansion, the Lincoln High School library will have enough space to shelve 20,000 books, which is six times the amount of books available now.

To carve out space, the bulk of the textbooks were moved to another location on campus.

The regular budget for books is $1,000 each school year although the school district’s Assistant Superintendent Mary Boyle placed $13,000 last year’s and $10,000 this year from the educational services budget into the library budget to help with book purchases.
Silva said library-bound books cost $15 a piece for fiction and $30 for nonfiction.

“When I select books, I’m looking for books that compliment the curriculum, students and teachers are interested in, are well reviewed and have received awards so we will have quality books in the library,” Silva said.

Sophomore Harley Rowe, 15, said he’d like to see more book options.

Fellow sophomore Travis Brewer, 15, said he wants the library to stock more Terry Pratchett books.

To fill the need for additional books, computer software, WiFi access and other resources, Silva said she is aggressively pursuing grants in addition to donations.

The local Lyons and Kiwanis clubs donated funds as has the United Auburn Indian Community.

On Nov. 30, Silva received word that the Lincoln Community Foundation is donating $1,000 to the library.