A new face brings change to WHHS’s library


Isabella Zinchini

WHHS’ librarians Acacia Moraes-Diniz, Melody Riggs and Margo Fisher-Bellman have been hard at work since the start of the school year and are excited to interact with more students.

In her first year at WHHS, new librarian Melody Riggs is excited to pursue her new career.

Riggs previously worked as an English teacher at Mason Middle School for 14 years, also serving as a Media Center Specialist at Rothenberg Elementary for the past three years. 

Regarding her choice to teach at WHHS, Riggs said, “just knowing that it was going to be a high school setting, working with older students… I would get to use all of the things, all of the skills that I have.”

Riggs further expanded on her desire to teach older students, as she only taught Kindergarten through grade 6 during her time at Rothenberg. 

“I just realized my strengths lie with helping students do research [and] do more advanced things with technology,” Riggs said.

Riggs has already begun making changes within the library, remodeling well-known activities like the grade 7 scavenger hunt. Designed to help new students learn more about using the library, Riggs has made various changes to make it a more interactive and collaborative activity. 

“What we did was we gamified it,” Riggs said. “We took Jenga games and we put numbers on 15 of the bricks, and each number corresponds to a question… and those questions ask [students] to locate information in the databases or to locate information out in the library so that they get familiar with the resources, but then it’s not overwhelming.”

All smiles! Ms. Riggs shows off her office in the library. Riggs has been hard at work since the start of the school year and is excited to interact with more students. “I love when a student finally finds the right book for them, and they’re really excited about it,” said Riggs. (Sydnie Barrett)

Riggs also hopes to transform the library on a larger scale and to broaden the services and opportunities it offers. 

“We’re hoping to just bring [the library] a little bit more into the 21st century,” Riggs said. “When you look at a lot of college and university libraries, they are moving towards more of a learning commons… they have things such as 3D printing and large format printers and software for recording podcasts… so we would really like to see some more of that come to the library here.”

Riggs has faced challenges in her transition to WHHS during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to various impacts of the pandemic, Riggs found herself with little time to acclimate to WHHS before the start of the school year. 

“Not being able to really meet other staff until the school year started… not really being able to be in the building a lot beforehand to see where everything was, and then figuring out the [library policies],” were each challenges Riggs mentioned. 

Despite these struggles, Riggs has still been able to appreciate the interactions she has had with students thus far. 

“I love when a student finally finds the right book for them, and they’re really excited about it,” Riggs said. 

To relax from the pressures of WHHS, Riggs enjoys a large variety of different hobbies and activities. 

“I run, I read a lot, [I enjoy] basically anything outside, I like to hike, I paddleboard, and I learned how to play golf last summer,” Riggs said. “I’m terrible at [golf], but it’s really fun.”

Riggs provided several pieces of advice to students hoping to utilize the library, regardless of their knowledge and experience. 

 “Come to the library, and just use it. We have a lot of resources that I think people don’t understand…not everyone understands how to use the databases or what we have just in the reference collection,” Riggs said.

Riggs highlighted the importance of the library’s resources outside of academics, “It’s also important to have pleasure reading too, something that brings you joy.”

Riggs can’t wait to see all of you in the library this year, and she is more than happy to help with anything you need.