This is a picture of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Librarian Diana Haneski and on February 14th she helped to save the lives of over 50 students and staff by hiding them in media equipment room of her Library and locking the door. No one should ever have to do what she had to do. No one should have to experience what she and the students and staff of MSD experienced.
Libraries should be safe spaces where librarians spend time worrying about how they are going to find the money to get the latest books for kids and how to get that just that ”just right book” into the hand of their students. Librarians should not have to be wondering where do I hid my students in case of a school shooting.
Can they all my student fit in the supply closet, or in my office? Will going in the corner away from the windows and the book cases be enough? What do I do because my doors don’t lock from the inside? These are the thoughts that enter my mind every day when I enter my Library.
When the lockdown announcement comes over the loud speakers and I run to get my keys and go out in the hallways to lock my doors, while also making sure my students in the library are hiding. The thought that always goes through my head is is this one real and not a drill?
Librarians can no longer be silent on this issue we must stand up and say enough is a enough. No child or teacher should have to wonder if today is going to be the day that gun violence occurs at my school! We must fight for gun control laws, and more money for mental health treatment. We must work hard to make sure Diane Haneski and her students are last ones to ever experience this.
Diana is a hero, but my bet is that this not the way she wanted to become one.
Elissa Malespina is the Middle School Teacher Librarian in Somerville and a Presenter, Author and much more. The views are my own. Find my full resume above.