New Gewurz-Sternthal Library A Hebrew Academy Hotspot
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For most students, lunchtime signifies a chance to decompress and chill with their friends outdoors, in the school gym, cafeteria or club rooms. For students at Hebrew Academy, however, the coolest place to hang with peers is not the gym, nor is it the Cavendish Mall at a stone’s throw away.
The most awesome place to spend lunch hour is actually the Gewurz-Sternthal library, which recently underwent a huge overhaul that took it from dreary to Destination Number One. “If you build it they will come,” said Hebrew Academy’s veteran librarian, Norma Newman.
They built it – thanks to the vision of Hebrew Academy Executive Director Linda Lehrer – and not only did the students come once; they keep coming daily – in droves. Mrs. Newman has been anxiously anticipating the library’s extreme makeover. Hebrew Academy’s current library is the third she has worked in as its librarian; beginning on the stage and in trailers in the school’s former location on Mackle in Cote St. Luc. “We’ve come a long way,” says Mrs. Newman. “We have evolved from having the entire collection on rolling carts to the magnificent space that we have today.”
With its new state-of-the art facilities, complete with WI-FI, modern computer stations, comfy purple couches, colourful carpets, inspirational quotations and overall zen atmosphere, students now flock to the library at every opportunity.
Jamie Libenstein of Grade 10 appreciates the space’s overall “welcoming” feel. “I love books and the new library is a happy place. I love the couches – they’re so much better than sitting in a hard chair.”
For Grade 9 student Noah Cohen, the library serves as the ideal backdrop for both learning and socializing. “On the one-hand, there are cubicles here where I can study quietly if I want, but I also come here to hang out with my friends. The library is young and vibrant, and there are inspirational quotes everywhere. The set-up is great!”
“It’s comfortable here,” says Grade 5 student Ayelet Mann. “I like the colourful atmosphere.” Classmate Arielle Rohr agrees. “You can relax here. It’s the coolest place in the whole school!”