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WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

A dynamic duo beyond books

Melanie Garduno
From left to right, Vanessa Terrazas and Monica Gutierrez in the Media Center on March 11 during 5th period. The two stay on campus so students can have a place to study and help with students’ needs until 4:30 p.m., sometimes later.

Located in the library, the faces of the Media Center are Monica Gutierrez and Vanessa Terrazas who run the whole place on their own. 

The library’s purposes vary from assisting students with books, holding staff meetings, tutoring sessions, lost and found, and being a place for students  to gather during breaks.

The most hectic times of the year for Gutierrez and Terrazas is  the beginning and end of the school year with the library being filled with returning or incoming students and parents, becoming overwhelming and chaotic at times. 

Gutierrez’s journey began  17 years ago when she started working as a math aid and testing coordinator She was promoted to the librarian position two years later and has been passionate about her position ever since. 

Her dedication extends beyond mere administrative tasks; she advocates for students’ needs, ensuring the library remains a place of support and opportunity.

 “I try my best to let the administration know to push to get those needs for the students… whether it’s books, or updating the library, which might be coming soon,” said Gutierrez. 

Terrazas started working for the district in 2019 as a substitute teacher. Shortly after some time in the classroom, she applied for the attendance job, but after not getting the position, was referred to the library when a substitute  was needed during registration for the upcoming school year. 

She was offered a full-time position as a librarian after getting the gist of how to work and manage the library fairly quickly and efficiently, not knowing that she’d grow to love it. 

Because it’s only the two working the library together, they instantly clicked and became close friends, learning how to lean on and be there for each other when work becomes a lot of pressure. 

“We take care of each other, like if I forget lunch she’s like, ‘Oh look here I made you something’ and so I don’t go hungry and I bring her coffee whenever I can. For sure once a week,but sometimes you know we need a little extra push,” said Terrazas.

What many might not know is that their friendship didn’t just stay within the workplace. They formed an unbreakable bond over their children attending West Covina High School while they worked as librarians, making their job feel more enjoyable and giving them a job experience most don’t get. They had the opportunity of working alongside their children, being able to check in on them and spend more time with them.

Just like other staff on campus, Terrazas and Gutierrez interact with students on a daily basis and grew to build relationships and bonds like no other. 

 “We just have built these relationships with these kids that are everlasting, we have students that still reach out and ask for letters of recommendation or just tell us like ‘Hey, I graduated from nursing school and it was all because you guys asked us what we were going to do after we were done with high school’ that in itself is just rewarding, if we can just help one student, we’ve done our job,” said Terrazas.

Though the majority of students don’t go to the library outside of mandatory times like registration or checking out a class book, many other students enjoy being in the library and willingly spend their time there. Their connection radiates through the library, making it a comfortable and go-to space for students. Senior Isaiah Moreno is one of many students who has become close with Gutierrez and Terrazas.

“Just go in, it’s always a good experience they’re really friendly, like a lot of people judge them but its just because they haven’t tried talking to them or getting to know them, but they’re very nice people and they make the library a very safe and cool place to just chill at,” said Moreno.

The library consists of three simple rules: no eating, no cussing and be respectful. This sometimes draws students away because the librarians strictly enforce their rules. 

“We’re not mean, but we do want you to follow our rules, there’s no eating in here and that’s because we have carpet from I don’t know how long ago… We would love for you guys to be able to eat here especially when it’s raining or super hot… we’re just not equipped with more people to help us to be able to keep it clean enough in here for you guys to be able to eat,” said Terrazas. 

Despite the negative misconception of the librarians, their dedication and commitment to make a safe space for students shouldn’t go unnoticed. They’ve transformed the library into more than just a room of books; it’s become a hub of connections, friendships and acceptance.

“I like to say that this is a safe space for kids to come and hang out and be themselves, we dont mind them talking, we dont mind them having drinks, we dont mind them playing cards, chess, different games… we’re not the quiet library,” said Gutierrez.


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