You don't even have to look directly at it to see the difference: simply walking by this newly renovated EGHS library is enough to see the changes.
Streaming through the library's hallway windows now is a bright, refreshing light coming in through the newly-introduced bay windows within the library, taking advantage of the beautiful EGHS courtyard.
The library underwent a major facelift this fall and early winter and reopened earlier this month. There is no doubt that the library is a brand new place: the old and orange carpet is gone, the gum-magnets called tables have disappeared, and then there's that natural light coming through. In fact, EGHS librarian Connie McCormick said she is extremely happy to be spending her final year here in this library.
However, something is missing. The rumor that floated around the hallways last fall was that this library facelift was prompted by out-dated school technology. As of now, however, there is no technology to be found, outdated or otherwise.
That is, as it turns out, by design. According to McCormick, the renovations were meant to retool the "dated and dark" library into a more useable space. Moreover, it was probed by creating a "pleasant environment for students and faculty."
Updating the technology throughout the high school was approved before the library, but because of some complicated state aid deadlines, the library renovation came first.
According to Supt. Victor Mercurio, the technology upgrades at EGHS will be completed this spring.
Beyond the cosmetics and technology issues faced by the high school library, there was one other pretty significant one: the fact that kids weren't able to use it before or after school.
After all, what's the use for this new library if it can't be used after school? If someone knows anything about high schoolers, it's that we are busy people. Huge groups of students crowd the lobby and cafeteria after school trying to pass empty time by doing homework, but I know firsthand about the distractions that come with huge groups of students.
The good news is that the library will be open after school as soon as the school district hires someone.
Meanwhile, each day is like peeling off a layer of an onion, with new elements being revealed over time. From the comfortable reading lounge, to the high-set reading tables with a beautiful view, and to the ample selection of magazines, this library was most certainly worth the wait.
The new EGHS library has already seen heavy visitation from students and faculty. For now, though, it has not reached its full potential.
In the words of one student: "This library looks extremely useful, but if the technology and longer hours were here as well then it wouldn't just look extremely useful."
Author Mikayla Baiocchi is a junior at East Greenwich High School.