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Redwood Bark

Photo Essay: Boys’ varsity tennis sweeps Archie Williams in MCAL semifinals
Photo Essay: Boys’ varsity tennis sweeps Archie Williams in MCAL semifinals
Molly Gallagher April 18, 2024

On Wednesday, April 17, the boys’ varsity tennis team dominated their match against Archie Williams in the semi-finals of the Marin County...

Photo Essay: Girls’ varsity lacrosse dominates Branson in a sentimental senior day matchup
Photo Essay: Girls’ varsity lacrosse dominates Branson in a sentimental senior day matchup
Emma Rosenberg and Penelope Trott April 18, 2024

On April 18, the girls’ varsity lacrosse team battled against the Branson Bulls in a blowout senior day matchup. Prior to the start of...

 embracing his coach senior Auden Braden celebrates his final MCAL regular season game
Boys’ volleyball dominates Marin Catholic on Senior Night
Richard Byrne April 18, 2024

On April 17th, the boys’ varsity volleyball team faced off against Marin Catholic (MC) in a Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) game. The...

Beyond the shelves: Ms. Savastano’s impact on student readers

From a quiet learning space to a new book, or simply access to a printer, the library is dedicated to meeting the needs of all students. The library integrates students of different grades under one roof — a roof that could not be held up without Kathleen Savastano, the library specialist.

“The library at Redwood is so much more than a standard library. It’s one space [which] we have some flexibility for students. It can be a hangout space, but it can also be a productive workspace,” principal Dr. Barnaby Payne said. “The library is so important here because it gives students a place to complete their work.” 

From a young age, Savastano was a voracious reader due to the influence of her mother. Savasatano explained that the accumulated book collection in her childhood home led her to appreciate the library.

“We had a room in our house with bookcases full of books. I didn’t want to accumulate all these books, so I used the library. Not having to buy new books for myself constantly resulted in my real apprecian for the library,” Savastano said.   

A tidy studying spot maintained by Ms. Savastano in the Redwood Library 

Savastano expressed that she enjoys her role as the library specialist deeply, as it allows her to enhance students’ learning opportunities and interact with avid readers through the exchange of book recommendations. 

“Sometimes students come in with their English classes and have to check out books and that’s very rewarding. I love to talk to people about books and help them find new ones in a genre based on their interests,” Savastano said.

 As per her responsibility of managing the literary compilation in the library, Savastano tailors to student needs through her understanding of bestseller trends. She makes judgment calls on the characteristics of books that will receive the most student engagement and attraction, prior to makingthe book order.

“I follow the trends in terms of what are top-sellers, what the best young-adult books are [or] sometimes the best graphic novels. Selections like that help me decide what to order. Sometimes I’ll think, ‘This book is 600 pages, [so] no one is going to read it.’ I have to understandwhat circulates and what doesn’t,” Savastano said.

However, the book collection is not the only way in which Savastano tailors the library to student needs. She has dedicated herself to making the library a clean and organized space where students can optimize their study and work efficiency. According to Savastano, there is a plan to renovate the library in the next few years, which is being generously funded by the Redwood Foundation. While the plans for the renovation are still in progress, the installation of new carpeting, paint and furniture to make the library a more comfortable space for students are likely.

“It all started in 2019 when I wrote a huge grant request for the Foundation because some of the chairs [were] awful and dirty. I asked to get them cleaned or replaced and the Foundation agreed with me, but we want to do more than that. [The renovation] has taken a life

Ms. Savastano is very organized with checking in and out Redwoods library books.

of its own, so next year it should be pretty exciting here,” Savastano said.

In addition to her role as a school librarian, Savastano works as a library aide paraprofessional. 

“She’s a supervisor, manager and support person, which differs from a traditional librarian role. For example, she directs the book assortment but is not responsible for renewing, updating and weeding the collection,” Payne said.

Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and Advanced Placement (AP) World History teacher Corin Greenberg regularly invites her students to take advantage of library resources. 

“We have a lot of guest speakers, so we use the library space to host them. We also use the library for team-building projects and fun activities,,” Greenberg said. “I regularly see many of my AP students in the library collaborating and helping each other. It’s really an area that fosters academic development.” 

The library continues to be a space for students to promote intellectual growth, while also facilitating social interactions. Looking towards the future, Savastano plans to continue her exceptional work in the library.

“I love my job. I love being responsible for the library and trying to keep it as nice as possible,” Savastano said.

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About the Contributor
Alana Leifer
Alana Leifer, Copy Editor
Alana Leifer is a junior and a copy editor for the Redwood Bark. She enjoys running, spending time with her friends, and traveling.