The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Story of Victoria Pietrus

Victoria Pietrus connects to a child by reading to him.

Students are studying, people are reading, the fireplace is crackling and Victoria Pietrus, one of the Niles West librarians, can be found helping out where needed inside the library. For many, the library acts as an escape. With the recently renovated library, Pietrus wants the library to be a safe space for students to aid their social and emotional health. She tries to connect with those who enter the library to help them understand what they are looking for. Whether that be something about the climate or simply trying to clarify a fact, Pietrus does her best to aid students in what they are asking.

The day-to-day tasks for Pietrus are never the same.

“It’s different every day. Just getting to know students on a human level and what it is they need. Because we are an information-seeking space I try to get to know them and about their story what they might be specifically looking for. I like to challenge myself with new perspectives,” said Pietrus.

Pietrus has been working in libraries for seven years and she taught as an English teacher before becoming a librarian.

“There is a lot of pressure in the classroom to give formal feedback like grading and I felt that I wanted to reach students in a different way through programming and books they love. It was through books that I felt really I connected with kids,” Pietrus said. “I try to contribute to a space where children feel safe to ask for help and I think we have really good library staff. I think we all make a good team and that we can help students with their needs.”

In the library, students can utilize the DIY zone, book a study room, chat with friends and get work done. Pietrus ensures that students can accomplish whatever they set their mind to when in the library.

“At the library [Pietrus] is really friendly with students and she is just really outgoing in general,” freshman Anni Huang said.

Working in the library is a lot of work but working with others makes makes the job easier. Kelly Stallard, the head librarian of the school library is thankful to have someone like Pietrus on the library staff.

“[Pietrus] brings a lot of great ideas to the library. She has a great pulse on programs students want in the library,” Stallard said.

Outside of school, Pietrus reads, takes care of her dogs and hangs out with her nephews often reading to them. Pietrus applies her experience outside of school to what she deals with in school

“I think I know a lot of different kinds of people and I love hearing perspectives so I am hoping to build more dialogue [in the library]. Kind of knowing other folks in what their interested in I always think how can I build capacity within student leaders here. Kind of hearing my friends, colleagues and family operate it is always kind of fun to see what new interests we can build here,” Pietrus said.

Niles West is lucky to have Victoria Pietrus!

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