The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

How a Dynamic Duo is Redefining the Sage Creek Library

Photo by Nadia Razzaq
Shali (left) and DeLeon (right) pose in front of the librarians’ desk. The two librarians have worked together previously at Aviara Elementary and Middle School, an experience which has strengthened their bond as counterparts and close friends.

Beyond the stacks of Chromebooks and novels, two women remain at the heart of the Sage Creek Library.

Golnessa Shali maintains the relevance of the books that go onto shelves while Dani DeLeon hustles between classrooms to offer her technological expertise.

When asked for a book recommendation, Shali recommends “The Book Thief” for its ability to point out the value of life and human impact. Previously working in the gaming industry, DeLeon enjoys sharing a good video game, like “Borderlands 3,” with students alike. These discussions have become frequent, followed by the thriving atmosphere of the library as a communal spot on Sage Creek’s campus.

A bookshelf displays a variety of novels in front of the checkout desk. The bookshelf is part of a project to engage students with novels that have been selected by their peers. (Photo taken by Nadia Razzaq)

Shali took the position of Library Media Technician at the start of the pandemic, DeLeon later following as Site Tech. Shali and DeLeon had worked alongside one another initially at the Aviara Oaks Elementary and Middle School Library. Their previous work experience has allowed the two to succeed as a team today. 

“We’ve always worked well together,” DeLeon said. “It feels like I’m working with my best friend.” 

Both Shali and DeLeon were uncertain of the transition from working in an elementary to a high school library, yet they find themselves happier than they could have foretold. The team has brought fresh ideas to connect the student body and spark frequent visitors. 

A student-run bookshelf can be found in front of the checkout desk with an array of novels recommended by fellow Bobcats. From the memoir of American activist George Takei to a book in a Japanese manga series, the shelf holds something for everyone. Shali’s collaboration with art teacher Megan Herrick to put up a variety of student art transformed the space to be more than just a scene for books. This has not gone unnoticed by visitors. 

“I love how they feature all the artwork on the walls so we can really get to see what the student’s talents are and I really think it’s a space for all of us to come together and see what the school’s students are capable of while we’re also able to sit around and improve on our own skills by studying and it’s just a really nice recreational space,” freshman Heather Green said. “I hope this continues later on into the year so students who have off-rolls in their next trimesters can come here and feel they have space here and can use this time well.”

Sage Creek artists are on display at the entrance of the library. The library recently decided to display the artwork of students in hopes of building a more interconnected community. (Photo taken by Nadia Razzaq)

Although an initial challenge, the concerns of the pandemic were combated with a check-in system that permits the enjoyment of the library’s environment with contact tracing. During off-roll periods, a maximum of 20 students are permitted into the library. It is required to sign in and note which table one will be seated at in compliance with COVID-19 protocol. 

Within their time at Sage, DeLeon and Shali find the highlight of their days to remain the same: the ability to talk and connect with the students. Shali believes the ability to communicate with the next generation of thinkers is a powerful thing.  The joy that Dani, daughter of campus monitor Dan DeLeon, has seen within her father while at work is one she now feels within herself. 

“It’s weird to see him interacting with the students because he’s retired law enforcement so he was totally different when I was in high school than he is with you guys, so he’s so stoked and it’s weird to see him so happy to be working, but it’s just all good vibes and good energy,” Dani said. “I think the same rewarding feeling you can tell my dad gets is building relationships with you guys and when we talk enough that students are like ‘hey Ms. Dani,’ and they remember my name… It gives me warm fuzzies like ‘oh my gosh you remember me.’”

While Dani will go on maternity leave when the first trimester of the school year wraps up on campus, she plans to remain at Sage Creek in the long run. Shali continues to find a greater purpose behind her work in the library, something that goes beyond the books and academics that would appear most prevalent.

“Each one of us has a unique story we carry within ourselves and I think libraries are a hub to communicate and acknowledge one another’s stories,” Shali said. “This is more like a home than a job or work.” 

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  • حمید امینیOct 24, 2021 at 8:52 am

    I am proud of shali she is so capable of performing her responsibilities. She is sharp and so organized, I wish her success in the future.