Library opens for on-campus pickup

Library staff Shannon Vakili, Verna Grant offer more resources to students

By Miya Liu

To encourage students to read during virtual learning, Verna Grant, the new library media teacher, and Shannon Vakili, the library media specialist, have created a system to pick up library books from school by requesting them through the library website. 

Students can place holds on up to five books at a time through Follet Destiny and check all materials out for up to a month. The website can be located in the academics tab on the

Place a hold on grab bags to discover new favorites! (Photo by Shannon Vikili)

HHS website. 

Books will be available for pick up every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in front of the GSS building. Before students pick up their books from the library, the books will be quarantined for a minimum of three days and again before the books are checked back in. 

The library staff has also curated “grab bags”— pre-packaged bags of books that are either genre-specific or a variety of books, Vakili said. 

Vakili said that the purpose of the bags is to motivate students to read more.

“You can read to escape,” Vakili said, “and you [can] learn a lot about other people and about yourself.”

You can read to escape and you [can] learn a lot about other people and about yourself.”

— library media specialist Shannon Vakili

This new system of book distribution is just one of the responsibilities Grant and Vakili share. They also help teachers and students manage resources like Schoology,, Google Classroom and other school-related databases, and work with the network systems specialists to manage use of Zoom. 

“It was overwhelming at first because there was so much going on with Schoology, with everybody learning [it],” Grant said. “It was a very steep learning curve and it had to be quick.”

Grant has taken on these responsibilities in her first year here at Homestead and as a library media teacher. Currently, Grant said she is earning her library certification.

This training in teacher librarian services directly benefits students by giving librarians the tools needed to assist students. 

“Librarians are super helpful resources for academic advice,” senior Isa Pudiyapura said. 

Isa said during in-person learning, she enjoyed spending her time in the library, especially to read for fun. 

Although access to the library is not available under the current shelter-in-place order, Grant and Vakili both said that if students need help or simply want to say hello, they would be happy to see some friendly faces. 

“Our main goal is to show you that we’re here,” Grant said, “and that we want to help you as much as we can.”

Students can contact Grant at [email protected] and Vakili at [email protected] or explore the library’s online resources on the HHS website.