A Classic Space Gets A Modern Retelling; DFMS Has A New Library

Ava Neumaier, Staff Writer

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Walking into the Dobbs Ferry Middle School library in 2016 was like walking into an antique bookstore. Volumes lined the many shelves, cushiony chairs were strewn across the floor, and the thick smell of paper filled the air. Despite its cozy interior, not all DFMS students took advantage of the vintage library during their time as sixth graders.

Now all that’s changed.

When the now-seventh graders returned this year, they found that the library was being torn down and thoroughly reconstructed. For the first month of school, students watched as walls were painted, chairs were sawed, shelves rotated, and books removed. When the library finally reopened in October, the previously vintage-themed room had been decorated with bright hanging lights and sleek white tables that accentuated the now-visible windows. A whole wall had been painted orange and the bookshelves had been reorganized.

The space now feels more art-deco than classic library, but that doesn’t bother the middle schoolers.  “It’s more modern and spacious,” 7th grader Charlize Laracuenta mused. “And it’s more like a hangout.” Now that the library has shed its collegiate atmosphere and donned a more contemporary vibe, it feels less like a workspace dedicated to reading and studying and more of a quiet alternative to the chaotic lunchroom in the mornings and after school.

But like any change, there were some who preferred the ways things were previously.  “I did like the old library,” 8th grader Adam Galland recalled. “When you sat down… it {the old library} was a lot more secluded, calming. This new one can be loud at times.” It is true; similar to a new toy or restaurant, the new library was so interestingly fresh that it collected the majority of the grade, which would add up to a large amount of bustle and noise.

But in librarian Ms. Gonzalez’s eyes, that might be a good thing. “It’s a place where kids can come in and work together… {and} meet and spread out,” she explained.

The library was one of three major renovations; the high school got ductwork for air conditioners, and Springhurst got a tennis court. All of this was funded by a bond started three years ago by the Capital Projects, the renovations put off until now, when Dobbs Ferry School District acquired the bond.

There was also a complaint about the lack of books from many students. Though the library had been open for over a month, the amount of reading material offered appears to be limited. Ms. Gonzalez assured that there will be more coming, but until then, some shelves will be only filled half-way.

So drop by next time you can! Admire the wide open windows and comfortable seats, the high tables and plethora of colors, the working and the relaxing, all in the newly renovated library.  

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