HARRISON, N.Y. – As one of nine kids, Sarah Crozier was looking for a quiet, comfortable place to study for her upcoming Harrison High School exams, which the Harrison Public Library offered from nine to midnight Wednesday.
“I get a lot of work done here,” said the junior, who was studying for her International Baccalaureate exam on history of the Americas. “I know that I get basically nothing done at home, so I was, like, why not stay here. The library’s definitely very helpful to keep me focused. It’s a closed, quiet environment where I can have a closed desk and I don’t have my computer to distract me or anything.”
While Crozier studied in the back of the library, another group of high school students learned tips on the best ways to study and how to organize themselves and eliminate stress, from a PowerPoint presentation by Scott Altabet, executive director of the Harrison Youth Council. When asked what his best advice was, Altabet offered some words of wisdom for harried students.
“I think the biggest is just to relax,” Altabet said. “Whatever you studied, you studied – just accept that and get a good night’s sleep. Avoid trying to wake yourself up with the sugar and the caffeine drinks, because usually it just works against you. You get the quick boost and then you crash, and you’re more tired afterward.”
While students were studying, Tom Cook came along with his therapy dog, Angie, to help them relax.
Library Director Galina Chernykh was grateful to see a few students show up on Monday for the extended hours and some more on Wednesday. This is the first year the library has run such a program, in which the public was asked to leave at 9 p.m. and students could stay or were let in after showing their school IDs.
“Usually it takes around a year and a half up to two years to build a new program, so I think it’s a good turnout,” Chernykh said. “That’s why we want feedback. This is the first time we’re doing it and we would like to know how it will work better – how we can improve it – because we have our own perspectives, but obviously from parents and students a totally different perspective, so it’s nice to hear from them. We’re serving them, so we need to know.”
Crozier offered some advice to Chernykh, including having the program announced in the morning at school after the Pledge of Allegiance and offering it the week before exams instead.
With students studying hard for midterms and Regents exams, the library offered a place for them, which Chernykh said will continue next year.