Wednesday, February 28, 2007

LLHS dedicating new library in Griffin's honor

A ribbon cutting that takes place on Thursday, March 1, will dedicate the Winkie Griffin Library Media Center on the Lower Lake High School campus.

Marjorie "Winkie" Griffin served for 26 years as the LLHS librarian. She worked for 18 months as a reading specialist at Burns Valley Elementary School before transferring in June 1967 to be the high school librarian.

Griffin brought a belief that the job of librarian is to be an "information broker" who connects students with information by teaching them to find it for themselves and to love doing research. "I think we have the most complete reference section of any school library in the county," she said with pride during a recent interview.

The LLHS library was also the first library in the county to use a computer. "We were probably ahead of everybody by about 15 years," Griffin said.

In the early 1980s, Apple gave a free computer to every public school; Griffin found the high school's computer in a box at the high school office and was told it was going in the library. A student with muscular dystrophy who died a few years later pushed Griffin to learn how to use the computer and to connect via the Internet.

Griffin said she retired "for the first time" in 1993 but was frequently called back into service to teach various classes. These days, Griffin said, she subs primarily in the library .

The new high school library occupies 4,480 square feet, representing a four-fold increase over its prior location, a 1,600-square-foot double classroom. "I'm thrilled to have this place named after me," Griffin said. "I said to my husband the other day, it's the cherry on the icing on the cake."

Library technician Lacey Frey cited Griffin's dedication when recommending the new library 's name. Her letter to the school board highlights various contributions including a scholarship established in Griffin's honor by members of her family. "She has been an inspiration and mentor to all the library technicians at Konocti," said Frey.

At its Wednesday, Feb. 21, meeting, the Konocti school board approved dedicating the Winkie Griffin Library Media Center. A ribbon-cutting ceremony takes place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at 9430 Lake St. in Lower Lake. A small reception will follow.

Funding for the high school library comes through Measure G bond proceeds. Konocti recently issued its second set of bonds, for $4.8 million. "The district received the funds on Dec. 28," said Superintendent Dr. Louise Nan.

Measure G, approved by district voters, is financing various projects including five campus libraries. Dedications were held last year for East Lake and Burns Valley school libraries. The LLHS library is the third to be completed.

"Lower Lake Elementary will be next, possibly by April 1," said Maintenance Director Dana Moore. "And at Pomo Elementary, we're building an addition onto the existing library ."

Moore said the LLHS library came in "under budget." Out of $1.7 million allocated, it cost $1.45 million to complete.

Of this, $730,000 in joint use funding came from the State of California. The district's joint-use partner for the high school library is the County of Lake. Nan noted that an agreement between the two entities allows Lake County use of the library facility outside of school hours.

Nan cited an inscription at the Penn State library , "This is the Repository of Knowledge." She added, "I think libraries are a gift to the future."

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