The MS/HS library at AISJ became a separate entity from the Elementary School Library in 2012 in order to better serve the middle and high school students and their particular research and recreational reading needs.
The library is staffed by a librarian holding degrees in Writing, Editing, and Literature, and is a published author. In addition, the librarian is helped by a well-trained library assistant who also holds an advanced degree.
As our middle and high school students do not come to the library weekly with their classes as they do in elementary school, the mission of the MS/HS library is to promote a lifelong love of reading for informational and recreational purposes. The library is an inviting, welcoming place where students can relax on a sofa with a cup of coffee and a good book during breaks or can work on their laptops at a table surrounded by reference books or encyclopedias and other texts after school. We also aim to teach the necessary skills for students to be independent thinkers and lifelong learners using appropriate technologies and resources for each task at hand and to foster a curiosity of the world at large. Students have the opportunity to earn credits and community service hours by learning organizational, research, business and marketing skills or acting as peer library advisors.
We enforce certain rules in the library that we feel are for the greater benefit of all students. Quiet hours in the library are during school hours. After school, students are permitted to collaborate and work in groups. In addition, eating any food is not permitted in the library. This prevents any food with strong smells to be brought into the library and generally helps maintain a cleaner library without food or food package remains. Liquids are permitted in closed containers.
With more than 25,000 copies of books shared by the Elementary and MS/HS libraries, the ratio of books per student exceeds the MSACS and ALA recommendations. We also have a growing collection of online e-books to meet the needs of an expanded digital presence in the school. Our active, ongoing collection development keeps the latest books on our shelves while weeding out books that no longer meet the curricular or recreational reading needs of our student body. As the “keeper of the books,” the MS/HS library also circulates, houses, and maintains all of the textbooks and classroom readings for the middle and high schools.
The library subscribes to online databases such as Gale’s Student Resources in Context, Literature Resource Center and InfoTrac Student Edition to provide students with up-to-date scholarly content to supplement classroom resources and our print collection. Our online public access catalog, Destiny, further provides online guided research sources through its WebPath Express platform.