New and Improved Bonds-Wilson Library


Library Background

The media center, named the Bonds-Wilson Library, is a very important space here at Academic Magnet. It offers over 15,000 titles with options in non-fiction, fiction, biographies, short stories, manga, graphic novels, periodicals, newspapers, and social justice resources. The library also assists in any research resources needed by students through their access to sixty scholarly research databases including JSTOR, Academic OneFile, and others. The library also gives students a space for independent experiments and study and access to computers and printers. These spaces include six small group meeting rooms and the large main open area of the library. Students often use the space to meet up to work on projects, print papers, look for a good book to read, or simply just have a nice quiet place to relax. In fact, students enjoy going to the library so much that recently a rule had to be instituted that only three students from every study hall could go to the library at one time. Many students dislike this rule because it causes a rush at the beginning of study hall for students who need or want to go to the library in order to be the first to get permission to go to the library. This means that some students are not able to go to the library during study hall which can pose a problem. Maybe this rule could potentially get extended to allow more students to have access to the library. Whatever the reason, it is almost guaranteed that you will end up going to the library one way or another.

New Improvements 

Recently, the Academic Magnet and SOA media center received some much-needed improvements to the space. When designing the new space Dr. Russell and the new SOA librarian, Ms. Gomez, wanted to create a warmer and more inviting space for students. To do this they added new posters and plants that are spread out across the room and new more comfortable and accommodating furniture. Students now have more space to sit down and relax or get some much-needed work done. In addition to this furniture, the library also received all new interior shelving. These shelves, as well as the other furniture in the room, are all mobile which allows the furniture to be pushed back, opening the space up for potential uses such as guest speakers or authors. This allows for the library to become a multi-purpose space which means Academic Magnet and SOA have more options to use the space for events. The library has also added passive programming activities in the form of water painting, coloring, and puzzles which all act as destresser activities for students. These new activities provide more to do in the library, especially if you are going there just to relax. Students now have expanded reading options with the addition and expansion of the graphic novel section. This section caters to younger students, since, it should be remembered that the library is a shared space that also includes SOA high school and middle school students. The Junior Book Award and the Young Adult Book Award are awards that are given for exceptionally good youth novels. These novels are chosen by a committee of librarians and students alike meaning that these books are sure to be a good read. The library has added an entire section, called the JBA and YABA section, that is devoted to displaying these award-winning books. In addition to these new reading options, there is now a magazine section as well. Magazine options include Time, National Geographic, Psychology Today, and Scientific America. However, this is not the end of the improvements. Future additions to the library include a Makerspace – a place to tinker with new technologies – as well as a library cafe coming in 2022-2023. These magazines offer a good option for students who are looking for a quick read and do not necessarily want to start reading an entire book.

Staff Info and Goals

Dr. Russell wanted to give a shout-out to SOA teacher librarian, Jennifer Gomez, and library clerk, DaLonzo Gibson. Specifically, she wanted to shout out Ms. Gomez who is the new SOA librarian and is coming from Cario Middle, where she was a school librarian for four years. Prior to this, she was a Spanish teacher at Cario, and actually is the mother of Magnet alumnus, Aidan Gomez, who graduated from Magnet in 2018. The library’s mission statement is to provide equitable access to diverse, current, and relevant materials, and to empower students to discover, create, and expand their understanding of the world in an open and welcoming environment. The library also hopes to support all school and community stakeholders through collaborating, teaching, and removing barriers to learning. With the goals in mind, the Bonds-Wilson Library is excited for students to visit anytime and utilize the many resources available there.

Attached below is the Bonds-Wilson Library Resource Request Form through which students can request resources (books, periodicals, games, etc.) for the library.

Teacher Librarian: Lara Russell, PhD