A forum for open student discussion.

A forum for open student discussion.


A forum for open student discussion.


The Women Behind the Bookshelves


“Don’t judge anybody by their cover and don’t judge a book by its cover,” Ms. Cucera says. 

The Howell High School Media Center has been a staple in students’ academic careers since it opened its doors. 

“I believe the library creates such a unique spot for students to go, whether it’s to do independent learning, work with other students, research in a quiet space… it really has impacted in a positive way…to be accessed by students,” Principal Mr. Schrock says.

The media center is home to the library service coordinators, Ms. Felicia Cucera and Ms. Tammy Gilbert. From traditional books and textbooks to the chromebooks students use everyday, the library service coordinators are equipped with the knowledge and qualifications that make these things accessible here at Howell High School.  

“They are two outstanding humans. They work tirelessly. Ms. Felicia and Ms. Tammy are a great team together…they have such a heart of service and help, it’s unbelievable,” Mr. Schrock says. 

Ms. Cucera, has been working in Howell Public School libraries for 20 years and has spent the last six at the high school

“When I was at Hutchings I used to help out there and I loved it. I love to read, and I love books. Then when I got the opportunity to move up here to the high school, I absolutely loved it. I love working with high schoolers,” Ms. Cucera says.

Part time library service coordinator and copy clerk, Ms. Gilbert, has been working in the library setting for 10 years, with the last four at the high school

“…it’s been 10 years and I’ve just moved around with different job opportunities and different times that were available in my schedule, and that’s why I ended up here,” Ms. Gilbert says. 

The media center is not only a place for students to learn, but a place that the library service coordinators learn from as well. From personal experiences to student interactions, they undoubtedly learn new things every day from this position and will continue to, day by day. 

“My love of books. I love to read all different types of books and I love to encourage other kids to read. Especially kids that come in and say ‘I don’t like to read.’ Then I say ‘Alright! Look what we have, we have all these books here. Let’s go find something.’ And we find something for everybody, whether you don’t like to read or you’re someone who really likes a challenge. That’s my favorite part,” Ms. Cucera says.

A lot of responsibility comes with the library service coordinator and copy clerk positions. One of the main aspects of the job’s difficulty is the Chromebooks. Some other responsibilities of theirs include labeling new books that come in, helping students with their test taking, checking in and out books, and more. Ms. Gilbert has other responsibilities along with what a typical library service coordinator would do. She makes sure all of the copy machines are stocked with paper, and that everything works so teachers can efficiently make copies for their students. 

“Well, I come in, and I am the copy clerk so when I come in I start filling paper downstairs in the other copy room, clean it all up, make sure everything’s working, call for service, whatever I need to do down there. Then, I come up here and I touch base with Mrs. Felicia and we get started on a bunch of different tasks whether it be books, Chromebooks, test taking, charging things, labeling new books that have come in, or chargers. Every day it’s different but we’re always busy,” Ms. Gilbert says.

Working in the library isn’t just about rearranging and putting books away into the bookshelves, it’s making a difference in the students’ academic success. The media center is a vital resource to all students at Howell High School for different circumstances. 

“The library is more than just a place to get books. There’s lots of things that the students don’t know, and if they come here and it’s nothing to do with anything we do we will always find the answers. It’s just a great resource to come here because we can point them in the right direction,” Ms. Gilbert says. 

They are experienced in recommending new books to students that have specific genre requests. On top of that, if students cannot find the new book they’ve been meaning to read, they will research and often order the book for the library for any student. 

“Well, we do a lot of book talk up here. We read all sorts of books so we can literally relate with you when you come in and tell us ‘I like a book that’s filled with suspense.’ ‘Ooh I have it for you.’ We do a lot of research on books too, so we always have good suggestions to help kids out, but we stay relevant by reading,” Ms. Cucera says.

Above all, Cucera and Gilbert stress kindness and positivity in the library environment over anything else. They strive to make Howell more mindful and welcoming as a whole. Most importantly, the library service coordinators have a famous saying they live by.

More to Discover