Students enjoy new and improved library

The renovations are part of the “Ring the Bells” projects that includes campus security updates


The library renovations include new rooms, booths with tables, and stadium steps in front of the windows looking into the senior courtyard all for students to enjoy before, during, and after school.

Katie O'Mara, Staff Writer

When students walk into the Flannery O’Connor Library they will still be greeted by the same portrait of Flannery O’Connor, the patron of the St. Pius X library, but may notice a few changes within the library itself.

The library is part of the “Ring the Bells” construction campaign that began this summer, which includes security gates at the front entrance, athletic facilities, and of course, a library redesign. 

The library itself has undergone very few changes since the school opened in 1958, being renovated in the 1980s and getting new furniture in the late 2000s, so the upgrade was something that librarian Mrs. LeyAnna Messick was “super excited for”. 

However, when students first returned to school in August, the renovations weren’t finished yet. The space was transformed to include new rooms, booths with tables, and stadium steps in front of the windows looking into the senior courtyard, but not all of the furniture had arrived.

Mrs. Messick described the process as “piecemeal,” and it wasn’t what she and the library staff expected.

“The biggest frustration was coming back to school and not having everything perfect. Not being able to have that big Aha! moment when people walk in,” she said.

The furniture arrived throughout August and September, and students can now enjoy chairs and tables that are easy to move and accommodate more flexible seating.

It’s not just physical changes the library has undergone though. 

“We’re trying to change the thought process, the way that people look at books,” Mrs. Messick said.

One of their efforts was a collaboration with freshman English teachers where students picked out a pleasure reading book. 

The library also offers fun activities for students before, during, and after school such as puzzles, board games, and arts and crafts. 

“The library is the living room of the school.” Mrs. Messick said. “We want kids to feel like this is a place of comfort and safety, like their home where they can do homework, talk to their friends, talk to the librarians, and just feel at home in our library.”

The library also wants to make sure that students know that they are open to suggestions.

“We want students to feel a part of the library in terms of making decisions. We have a library board, so that if students have books that they think we add or they think we should have, programming lunch and learns or, you know, speakers before or after school or you know, different things to bring us those ideas,” Mrs. Messick said.

Although the library itself has undergone many changes within the past few months, it still is at its core a place not only for books and learning, but friends and community.