The student news site of Southern Lehigh High School

The Spotlight

The student news site of Southern Lehigh High School

The Spotlight

The student news site of Southern Lehigh High School

The Spotlight

Future updates planned for SLHS library

Kishore Annambhotla
The new library is likely to serve as a media center, emphasizing technology rather than books.

At a school board meeting on October 23, Southern Lehigh School District unveiled plans to transform the high school library into an enhanced learning space, intended for student innovation and exploration.

“We’re actively looking to make updates to the library in any shape and form,” high school principal Mr. Joshua Miller said.

The district plans to utilize professional input, continuous evaluations, and a feedback system to begin updating the library. The renovations focus on modernization, such as upgrading existing video calls and e-sports technology, and frequently updating the bookshelves. 

“There [have] been talks about increasing technology, reshaping it, [and] bringing in texts, novels, [and] things kids want to read,” Mr. Miller said. “We’re open to everything under the sun.”

The plan also includes a marketing campaign to spread the word about library programs and services to students, staff, and the general public. However, due to four seat changes on the school board following the November general election, marketing details have been halted.

Many students feel that, in its current state, the library could be more useful on a day-to-day basis. Some point to the fact that students are rarely prompted or inspired to check out a book from the library.

“I can’t remember the last time anyone went to the library and got a book,” senior Grace Hannah said.

Others mention that reference books, many of which date back to the 1960s, are unnecessary in the Internet age.

“We don’t need the reference books,” senior Owen Cobb said. “They could be replaced with computers [for students] to Google information.”

As a result, Mr. Miller believes that the library must be transformed into a more welcoming and comfortable place to bring students into the area.

“When students use it, they love the area with the comfy, flexible seating. And then there’s an area with tables and chairs,” Mr. Miller said. “I want it to be a very flexible, welcoming space that can suit everyone’s needs.”

Being that these changes are significant, the renovation process will be lengthy. Given concerns that construction noise may impede learning in nearby classrooms, most of the work will have to be done outside of school hours.

“We would work in the summertime when students aren’t here,” Mr. Miller said. “We haven’t finalized [the] cost; we’re just [gathering data] to redo HVAC, flooring, furniture, shape, seating, [and] technology.”

When accounting for all factors, the final transformation may take several years.

About the Contributor
Kishore Annambhotla
Kishore Annambhotla, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Kishore Annambhotla has dedicated four years to Southern Lehigh High School’s Spotlight newspaper. Three of those years he spent in editorial positions, as Our World and Entertainment editor his sophomore year and editor-in-chief his junior and senior years. He feels these positions have helped him inspire his peers and impact his school for the better. “The clubs I've been a part of have taught me how to engage with the community and work with others,” he said. “I think that the teamwork and collaboration that comes with being part of the Spotlight will be very useful in my future.”  As of now, he will be living out the next few years of that future as a student at the University of Pittsburgh, where he will major in Computer Science. Because AP Computer Science A was one of his favorite classes in high school, he is excited to delve deeper into that area of study in college. “I’m not yet sure what I want to do with that diploma, but I know it will take me far,” he said. Regardless, he knows that he plans to live in a small apartment in New York City, since he appreciates a relaxed lifestyle. “It’s comfortable to keep few possessions and be worldly,” he said. Annambhotla plans to use skills learned from his activities outside of the Spotlight as well. Most notably, he has learned leadership as president of the high school’s National Honors Society this past 2023-2024 school year, a position in which he helped manage the organization’s tutoring program. He also dedicated himself to Scholastic Scrimmage, representing the school in academic competitions requiring a wide range of knowledge. His three years on the school’s tennis team taught him teamwork, and he worked to better his school and community by participating in No Place For Hate and Key Club. But, out of all of these experiences, he feels that his favorite memories were formed through the Spotlight, specifically by collaborating with peers as the club worked to publish its work. “I fondly recall working on the newspaper in the publication lab with the editorial staff,” he said. “It was always a good space to decompress.” Of everything that he himself wrote, Annambhotla is the most proud of an Opinion article he published during his junior year, titled “Antisemitism rhetoric must come to an end.” Written in response to the rise of antisemitic comments on social media and in mass culture, he gave Southern Lehigh students a chance to voice their thoughts on the issue. “This was my favorite article because I felt it was the most socially impactful article I wrote,” he said, “so it carried more meaning for me.” Annambhotla’s advice for current students—a lesson he himself learned through juggling extracurriculars, classes, and leadership positions in each—is to remain focused and ambitious. With that sort of mindset, he feels you can achieve anything. “It’s gonna get challenging along the way,” he said, “but you should always remember what you’re working towards and keep your goals in front of you.”