Library seeks student requests for mass book order


Jesselle Ann Morales

Library Assistant Victor Mercado (pictured) seeks students’ book and author requests for the upcoming mass book order.

Jolene Palijo

Waipahu High School’s library is gathering requests for a mass book order planned for late March. Library Assistant Victor Mercado wants to revamp the library’s content and have students contribute to the additions. Students are able to submit their requests to him at the library until March 15. 

Mercado’s goal for this mass order is building student interest in the library and reading. Interested students may ask for newer titles that the library does not have. The book industry is constantly changing, as each new release gives readers more learning opportunities. Mercado wants the library to evolve along with these changes, as the library’s current inventory may be limited. By revamping the library’s options, he hopes students will be more inclined to visit the library. 

So far, the order is largely comprised of student recommendations, with some titles added by Mercado. Students have suggested recent releases and classics from genres such as manga, fiction, and young adult (YA). Mercado’s additions include previously published books, recent bestsellers, anticipated books for this year. Authors that he recommends for students include Michael Connelly, Stephen King, Nicholas Sparks, and John Grisham. He also recommends nonfiction by Steve Martin, Tina Fey and Jane Goodall. 

Mercado wants students to have a voice in what the library offers rather than ordering books based on state recommendations or educational lists: “I want students to have titles that really grab them, something that is thought-provoking, something that they find interesting.”

He would also like to encourage students to learn more about the world through reading. Mercado says, “Books present a world of information that you don’t know. My hope would be that students start to become interested in learning more about the world.”

Beyond book requests, another of Mercado’s goals related to student voice is effective self-expression. Not all of the books in the order will be titles that are popular for modern readers, or books that all students agree with. However, Mercado hopes that students will be able to convey their thoughts and reactions to them whether they are positive or negative. “I want students to be able to voice their own opinion. I want them to be able to express themselves in a vibrant way,” he says.

A concerning trend Mercado has observed in people across different generations is a lack of interest in reading, especially with physical books. He hopes to be a positive influence against this trend. Mercado acknowledges the trend of digital reading through phones or tablets, but encourages readers to still read physical books: “I would like especially our students to either rediscover or discover for the first time the joy of just having a book in your hands. I want students to know what it feels like to have a piece of paper in your hand and read it and really absorb what’s there.”

Students will still be able to request commonly banned books, which have often been discussed in recent news. Although they may not all be approved, Mercado is still interested in these requests. On the topic of banned books, Mercado says that regardless of their opinion on the topic, people should be allowed to read what they want. 

To get involved and submit your requests, visit the library to share book or author requests with Mercado. You can also email him at [email protected]. Student requests are open until March 15. When the books arrive, Mercado plans to make an announcement or send out an email to students advertising their addition to the library.