Library Hours: Not such an “open” book

Gurkiran Kandola, News Editor

It is 7:30am. You walk in to West High’s very own library with your homework assignment that you need to finish by 2nd period in hand. The library is a comfortable and cozy learning zone used by hundreds of students here at West High to study, finish homework assignments or simply read. No matter what time of the day you go inside, chances are you will find lots of students utilizing this critical tool to further succeed in their educational pursuit. However, did you know that the library used to be open even longer? When the library hours got cut by the Tracy Unified School District, students were outraged. They were not only getting their precious homework, learning and studying time taken away from them, but many would be left without a place to have all the resources they need to complete their work. In a quest to gain back the library hours, students began rallying together over social media and creating campaigns. However because majority of these concerned students were seniors, the issue to restore the hours was taken off the list and has not been brought up since.

Many students do not realize that they are not getting the hours they should. Originally, the library was open at 7am each day and open for at least an hour each day after school. Now the library opens at 7:20am each day, and is only open for about 10-20 minutes after school, leaving very minimal time for students to even begin their homework. Being a student who frequently uses the library, I believe that these hours should be restored. Why? With so many rapid changes in today’s technology and education, some students do not have resources at home to complete various assignments, such as computers, printers, a quiet learning environment, reading materials, etc. With the future generation in our presence, as students, a school, a family member or even a friend, we should be allowing today’s students to be able to have access so we can all achieve a better education. When growing up, we always learned that school was a place to get a good education, but if education is truly the focus of schools, why haven’t the library hours been restored at our campus? This is a question many people wonder but never ask. Even with budget cuts made to school districts, allowing students to have a safe learning environment should be a focus, even with attention on other details.

No matter how many times the word is used, for many the word “library” will always be a place for students to go to study and learn. But with limited hours, it seems we have also a limit on the type of education students should be receiving.