By Amber Bai and Emily Lutzker
Do you have ideas on how to improve the Virginia Wing Library to make it look more like your ideal library? Do these ideas include making the Upper-School fiction easier to find, adding a BookTok shelf, or bringing back surprise book forms? If these questions pique your interest, SLACkers is a great place to start the discussion!
The SLACkers is a low-commitment club which meets once a month to gather student input and discuss improvements that can be made to the library. From discussions about the Dewey Decimal System to improving the noise level of the library to helping choose library activities, SLACKers seeks to learn more about students’ experiences with the library. Laura Duncan, the new Director of the Virginia Wing Library, says, “Our goal as librarians is to promote reading as a pleasure and a form of self-care and relaxation.” In the SLACkers first meeting, discussions were centered around introducing new events to the library, such as movie nights, contests, and giveaways. Additionally, attendees suggested ideas such as a partnership with affinity groups.
Ms. Duncan ran a student library advisory committee at her previous school. The group provided the library with helpful feedback and created a stronger sense of community. As the new library director, she wanted to bring a similar program to Winsor to invite students to share feedback. Along with Assistant Director of the Virginia Wing Library Danielle Smogard, she hopes that SLACkers will be a space where students can bring new ideas to the library, with the ultimate goal of making the library a place where everyone feels welcome. “At the end of the day, the library is here for you,” says Smogard. “It doesn’t matter if [the library staff] have a brilliant idea if it’s not what students want.”
The library is an important place for many students, such as Nidhi Mallavarapu ’25, who attended the first SLACkers meeting. She “loved that the meeting provided students with the opportunity to speak candidly about the library,” as well as the “casual, intimate conversation with the lovely librarians.” She also noted the importance of student participation in library improvements, reminding us that “Whether someone is just casually in the library or spends a lot of time there, every opinion and experience matters!”
Whether you have a suggestion or just want a place to talk about books, SLACkers provides a warm and welcoming environment to discuss your ideas. Be sure to stop by their next lunch meeting!