Books are only part of her job

Noteworthy staff – Ms. Denise Monegato, Librarian

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Ms. Monegato is at home wherever there are books.

Amina Moore, Staff writer

For the last four and a half years, Ms. Denise Monegato has been serving students as the Armijo High School librarian and she has lots of responsibilities, even during the pandemic.

“We must perform a yearly inventory of our physical and digital resources,” she said. “Collection Development analyzes our collection and indicates where we need to weed (remove) outdated material and where you need to add to the collection. We spend a considerable amount of time planning our orders, we need to also consider what titles are popular, what new books are coming out, we check to see if there are additions to the curriculum that need to be supported, what series are adding new books, and more…“I also work with the College & Career Tech Mrs. Anderson on purchasing books to support career guidance and development as well as college exploration.””

Her job is not just about the books, though. She is also responsible for “supervising students in classes and on passes.” This year, she has been welcoming students to work in the library, especially when their home Wi-Fi is not working up to par.

When classes were live on campus, the library was always a hive of activity. “We always had the daily #lunchtimelibrarylounge during lunch,” said Ms. Monegato.

Ms. Monegato continues to encourage class and club activities, even if most of the students are working from home. “We also collaborate with the local Solano Libraries on programs and activities that benefit students and the community,” she said. “We are participating in a community read, Just Mercy, with Solano. The books are coming in this week… “Ms. Hill’s classes and the Black Student Union will be participating. There will be a combined effort of events to support the book between now and the end of the school year. “

Even though she is an avid reader, Ms. Monegato does have a favorite book, or more accurately a favorite trilogy: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. “It’s an epic tale of Good v. Evil, with magic, battles and interesting characters,” she said. She added that her favorite memory attached to reading was with her grandma reading Gone with the Wind.

Before televisions and technology, everyone read as a pastime. The average person had a higher degree of literacy than today. “We have more students all over the United States entering high school who are not able to read high school and college level material,” Ms. Monegato said. “We should always read for pleasure! Reading should not be thought of as something you only do when you have homework. Pleasure reading has many benefits: it helps our brains focus, and it increases our knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, which also helps us to be better writers. Research and academic reading will not be so challenging if you read more in your spare time.”

Pleasure reading does not have to be limited to fiction. Students should be curious and that curiosity can lead to exploration, whether it is delving into an author’s imagination or studying the history of an event. “When I first started teaching, students used to read their local newspapers in the library,” said Ms. Monegato. “You don’t see that anymore. I’m not seeing students that are as informed on current events as they should be.”

As a librarian, Ms. Monegato hopes to provide a foundation for curiosity, for investigation and for imagination. She does that one book at a time.

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