Head librarian continues to have impact

Faith Fiorovante, Staff Reporter

One contributor to the success of students at MHS has been the Media Center Specialist Rebecca Plaza, but she did not take a direct path to becoming a librarian. Instead, she worked with the Peace Corps and then worked with elementary children before she took this position at the high school in January of 2015.

“It wasn’t exactly a straight shot here, but I’m a person who’s internally motivated and have felt that what it’s all about for me are those certain beliefs regarding service for students,” Plaza said.

Plaza oversees all the resources offered through the Media Center, including the virtual library.  She also shares the Media Center space with the Literacy Center, where students can receive help with reading and writing in all subject areas.

“When you’re in the library, you can see Mrs. Plaza is always working around with the students and the other faculty members,” Maggie Lukas, senior, said.

Since the Media Center can play an important role in a student’s education, Plaza said she enjoys getting to know the students who visit the Media Center and working with teachers who want to use the Media Center services.

“With the students, I have the chance to talk about books and am able to get to know them personally,” Plaza said. “The teachers in our school are passionate about what they do and are thoughtful about the learning of their students, which makes our school community a really great place to work.”

Several students have said they are thankful for the attention and dedication that the Media Center’s staff puts in to making their learning a better experience.

“Mrs. Plaza understands the importance in the development of student learning and the resources used to get us to where we need to be,” Sam Eddy, senior, said.  “All of these things that are done for us as students make it easier to facilitate learning and being in an environment that I enjoy. [It] makes me feel comfortable and supported.”

Creating a welcoming environment in the Media Center has been one of Plaza’s goals. She has reorganized the books by genres to make it easier for students to find reading material that interests them.  She has also redecorated the Media Center to make it more modern and student-friendly, and students said these changes have made them feel more welcome in the Media Center.

“The library at our school has always made me feel encouraged and has been a place where I know I get assistance in critiquing my work and is where I truly feel a sense of support,” Lukas said.  “Mrs. Plaza has made my learning important.”

As there are many upperclassmen thinking about their futures and post-secondary education, Plaza said she feels the need to help each student figure out just what that means to him or her. This was her advice:

“A wonderful thing about American society in particular is there’s so much freedom of choice, yet that can sometimes feel overwhelming,” Plaza said.  “Even with all of that, if you keep listening to your interests and to what will keep you growing and curious, you will find yourself in a good place to be.”