Local libraries expand students’ options by bringing books to Fairmont

Dayton Metro librarian Gretchen Yonata helps Christian Lasson check out a book on her laptop.

Photo: Lily Condron

Dayton Metro librarian Gretchen Yonata helps Christian Lasson check out a book on her laptop.

Sometimes the school library doesn’t have exactly the book a student needs for a project or even the novel a student wants to read just for enjoyment. But with generous local libraries helping out, that problem is being resolved.

Although Fairmont’s library is resourceful, sometimes students don’t get the chance to visit or what they need may be checked out. Recently, the Dayton Metro Library has assisted Fairmont with books to help with whatever type of research students need.

Michele Mercs, an East Unit English teacher who has participated in this new cooperative venture, says her first impression has remained the same throughout the year.

“This was our first year to try this and it’s been a helpful collaboration,” she said. “It took away any excuses students might have for not having a card, a ride, or time to go to the library.”

Mercs explained that the new system works by the librarians bringing books to the school for Fairmont students to use. Her classes were able to check out books right in her classroom, so they never had to leave school to do any of it.

“For example, I did an autobio/bio/memoir unit, and the librarian from Dayton Metro Library brought 250 books for my students to choose from. They were able to check them out that day since she brought a computer. Some even turned in applications for library cards to me,” Mercs said. “My students have done a few research papers and when they’re finished, they just return the books to me and then she returns to pick them up.”

The system has run rather smoothly for students and teachers, but it’s a lot of work for the Dayton Metro staff. They’ve hauled books to Fairmont, picked up applications, spent the day here checking out books, and then hauled the remaining books back to the branch afterwards.

Despite the work, Gretchen Yonata, one of the Kettering-Moraine branch librarians, says she’s been enthusiastic about taking part in this venture.

“It’s really exciting to form this partnership with Fairmont,” Yonata said. “Visiting the students allows them to use me as a resource for more information. The only difficulty we’ve had is if students are under the age of 18, they must get their parent’s signature before they can get a card.”

The Dayton Metro Library has brought many books for the students in need, whether it’s for a biography project or just some basic research. Multiple teachers have used this opportunity to allow their students to open up more choices of books than can be found in Fairmont’s library.

Many teachers said they think it’s great that the librarians are willing to collaborate with the school district to make more books available to Fairmont’s students. Central Unit English teacher Ryan Lamb said it’s a wonderful opportunity.

“English teachers end up purchasing some books out of their own pocket, and the library is such a good source for free,” he said. “This has made it much easier for students to find books that interest them or use them for projects and improve their reading skills as well.”

Lamb says there haven’t been any difficulties that he knows of with this new system besides the limits the libraries have on certain books.

One of Mercs’s students, Kylie Cavanaugh, agrees that Fairmont is really lucky to have this collaboration going on.

“There’s a lot of schools that may never get this opportunity,” she said. “The fact that the librarians take the time out of their days to do this is such a kind thing.”

Yonata hopes this cooperation between Fairmont and the libraries will continue and help students with their reading and overall education.

“This is a great stepping stone for the school and students as well.”