What Happened to the Niles West Library?


Jerry Mendheim

The Niles West library open to scheduled classes, but closed to study hall students due to staffing shortage, fall 2021.

By Jerry Mendheim, Video Editor

On the second floor of Niles West, students typically study and relax in the library during free periods. But, this year, the library has been closed to students during school hours.

“It’s been sad not being able to use the library, it used to be a great place to study,” senior Nikhil Thomas said.

The library issued a public statement about the temporary closure.

“Unfortunately, we are short-staffed and must temporarily remain closed to student visitors before school and during the day. We look forward to opening up all day to students soon,” head librarian Sherry Baehr said.

The library closure has students seeking quiet places to study elsewhere. The Lit Center, a tutoring center where students can get tutoring during any period, is one place students are going during study hall.

“I don’t have a specific number, but the amount of students has definitely increased since the library has been closed. Some periods can be louder than others, but that is expected as more students may have that period and day free. I do believe students are frustrated that the [library] isn’t open, but we’re here for them when they need,” Lit Center coordinator Tamar Boghossian said.

While the library is closed during school hours, that doesn’t mean it isn’t functioning.

“Students can still check out books during and after school, and this has been going for about two months,” librarian Kelly Stallard said. “Teachers can still come in with their classes for book talks and readings as well. We also really do plan to open during school, we hired some new staff members, so hopefully, we can open within the month.”

The library is open to students from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays; they close at 4 p.m. on Fridays.