Beginning a new chapter

New librarian hired in midst of COVID-19 crisis


Photo by Hailey Dirks

Librarian Kristi Taylor puts on gloves while wearing a mask, before checking books into the library system. Taylor said she wishes more students would say hello and strike up a conversation with her. “Speak when spoken to,” Taylor said. “Not everyone knows how to talk to someone who’s friendly. Say hi. I’m friendly and I talk a lot.”

Masked students walk into the hallway after the bell rings, indicating it is time to go to first period for the first time in six months. Librarian Kristi Taylor stands outside the library, greeting students. After months of waiting, she is finally able to see students and enjoy the best part of her job. She is smiling so much behind her mask that her cheeks begin to ache. 

This will be Taylor’s sixth year working as a librarian and her first at Hebron. Before getting this job, she was working as an app developer.

“I’m a people person, so I love talking to people.” Taylor said. “I worked from home and it was hard on me because I didn’t have enough people to talk to. My librarian friends would  text me, and I found that I really missed [being a librarian].”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the library will have to change most of its procedures. Regulations will change based on the status of the disease activity levels. Until LISD moves into the yellow or green levels, as opposed to the current “Orange Level” status, the library will not open its doors for students to come in and out. 

“The most challenging thing for the school year will be keeping what we do the same and providing the same services, but also maintaining safety protocols.” Taylor said. “It just changes the way I provide library services.” 

Even though the library is closed to students during Orange Level, the librarians have been busy. During this time, the library is printing IDs for students and issuing temporary badges. It also acts as a cafeteria overflow area, so there are many students who eat lunch there as well.

“We have to sanitize all the tables during the 5-minute passing period which can sometimes be a challenge,” Library assistant Kathleen Lemay said. “But the cafeteria and each classroom have the same challenge, and all teachers and admin are pitching in to get it taken care of.”

Instead of classes coming to the library, Taylor will be taking book carts to classrooms and doing check outs in a mobile fashion. Students will have to sanitize their hands and have masks on, and they will not share book carts between classes. Instead of physical books, the library is pushing students to use e-books and virtual services.

“We have so much technology in Lewisville ISD,” Taylor said. “It’s easy to say ‘you can’t come to the library to check out a book, but I have 14,000 e-books that you can check out anytime.’”

Taylor has also created a website for students and teachers to use. Once it’s finished, it will be a one-stop-shop for all the things the library offers— e-books, online databases, instructional material and more. Taylor’s goal for the library program is to create a welcoming environment for students.

“The English teachers have always worked really closely with the librarian,” AP English IV teacher Kimberly Nickerson said. “I think with Ms. Taylor, she brings these new innovative ideas that will be able to reach kids individually, and not just through our classes. With all of the new things she’s putting in place, kids can independently look at all of the books available by category, and she’s broken it down to many different categories of interest.”