By Rachael Turner
I think every student is well acquainted with a library: a quiet place to study for exams, finish massive research papers, and add the final touches to class projects. But for the students at Elizabethton High School, the library is more than just a place to process information. The EHS library is a place of ingenuity for rising high school students. Students at EHS are transitioning into a hands-on style of learning, thus enabling them to work on projects they are passionate about. These projects include profiling a serial killer, working to free an innocent woman from prison, interviewing veterans, planning community improvement activities, starting businesses, and much more. Several of these projects are guided by the EHS librarian, Mr. Dustin Hensley. In addition to school projects, the EHS library has partnered with the Elizabethton City Library to store and update city archives. The archives include pictures of Elizabethton in the early 1900s, maps, obituaries, and more. Mr. Hensley and several EHS students are currently working to digitize yearbooks from the 1900s.
The Elizabethton City Library itself has also provided students with an outlet for their creativity. The city library created a teen advisory board that meets at least once a month to discuss changes in learning and ways in which the library can improve from the high school student's perspective. Students now have more of a voice in community decisions. In doing so, the students of Elizabethton have become well-rounded and confident in the work they do. Now, a library isn't just a place to stay quiet and cram for an upcoming test. The library is where the spark ignites into an active blaze. With this continuous support and determination, libraries are bound to become a work of art painted by the inspiring minds of our youth.