Remodeled Library

Caitlin Levine ’21

The theme this year at Ramaz is “see different.” Upon returning to school, the student body will do just that. What was once the library is now a communal lounge space designed for group and independent study. Te area is complete with comfortable seating and a phone charging locker that was made possible by the G.O.’s leadership. Some of the library’s book collection was pruned to make room for more tables and formal work stations as well as an area that has a more informal feel for students who prefer not to study at a desk. The new space feels more airy and inviting.

“One of the major benefits is how much more open the space will feel, especially with the increase in light entering from the windows on the south side of the building,” said Rabbi Slomnicki.

In the digital age, as libraries are in danger of becoming obsolete, the Upper School administration and the G.O. collaborated over the course of several years to make incremental changes to create a space that better responds to the needs of the students.

Two years ago, the interior office once designated for the librarian was repurposed as a quiet room for students. In the 2018-2019 academic year, more significant changes were implemented, removing the librarian’s center table along with the role of librarian. Instead, history teacher Mr. Deutsch was appointed as Master of Books. Many small tables, designed for small study groups, replaced the long tables where larger groups of students once sat and worked together. This new format allowed for more groups of students to use the library. The school also removed some of the older computers that were not functioning. Many of these ideas came from Rabbi Sklarin and Rabbi Slomnicki who visited several independent schools and brought some of their ideas back to Ramaz.

While students will no longer be able to hide between the ceiling-high stacks of books, they will be able to

see more of each other—comfortably.