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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Media Center’s dedicated pair: Chi, Li

IT+TAKES+TWO%C2%A0+Eileen+Chi+%28left%29+runs+the+Media+Center+as+the+schools+librarian+while+Terri+Chi+assists+as+the+library+technician.
Bren Belmonte
IT TAKES TWO  Eileen Chi (left) runs the Media Center as the school’s librarian while Terri Chi assists as the library technician.

By Belle Nhan | Staff Writer

   One would not expect that Gabrielino High School’s Library and Media Center is one of the most prominent places on campus. Whether it is during class time or during lunch, there are always students entering and exiting. This bustling place is managed by District Librarian Eileen Chi and Librarian Technician Terri Li.

   Before switching career paths, Chi first started as a social science teacher here at Gabrielino. 

   “The previous librarian, [Ellen] Shimamoto… encouraged me to get my librarian credentials,” Chi continued, “I enjoy talking to students, just seeing how they are doing and I think I can do that in the library [without] necessarily having to teach like a social science topic.”

   One of Chi’s favorite highlights working as a librarian was being able to participate in the Read Across America, a cherished tradition that occurred annually. However, last year’s trip was canceled due to the pandemic.

   “We used to do it every year at Mckinley and read to the kids there. That’s always a highlight because the kids are so excited and really look up to the highschool [students],”explained Chi.

   Chi hopes to plan something similar this year,  but believes the course of the pandemic may not allow for an in-person event to be possible. 

   As a fellow supervisor of the library, it is Li’s 26th year as a Library Technician. Li entered this profession because she loves everything about books. On days where there are new books to process, or when there are old books to be mended, she is the one handling them. 

   But one of Li’s most favorite parts about working in the library is being able to interact with students regularly.

   Li explained, “In previous years, we had more students coming in [to the library.] Now, it is hard to 

(Chi, Li continued from  page 6)

keep in contact with the students, but we still have students coming in when they are allowed to.”

   Along with memorable events and daily interactions with valuable students, a lot of effort and planning is needed to make sure the library continues to function properly. According to Chi, the most important and hectic times of the school year are the beginning and end due to textbook checkouts and returns.

   With the pandemic, a lot of tasks they considered simple became more complicated and taxing, especially regarding the textbook checkouts and returns.

   ”With COVID-19 protocols before, you wouldn’t have to wipe down all of the textbooks, but you would have to quarantine them,” Chi stated. “[This] made it tricky because when the books came back we had to let them sit there and the data on how long they could sit there varied.”

   During these times, having strong teamwork is critical in keeping up with the demands of students. 

   “[Li] is well versed and she does a lot of the behind the scenes stuff. I am very grateful to have her help,” Chi continued, “I know that I can not do that by myself.”

   Without Chi and Li, the library may not have been as well maintained as it currently is. Even through these difficult times, Chi and Li show they still have their positivity and dedication to the Media Center and the students.

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About the Contributor
Bren Belmonte, Staff Writer
Bren Belmonte is a Photographer and Staff Writer with three years of experience on our newspaper team. Outside of journalism, Bren enjoys cosplaying, photographing friends, reading manga, watching anime, and listening to music. Bren chose the journalism class in sophomore year after encouragement from family members in the industry. Since then, they've recognized it as a future passion and career interest.
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