Sharyl Ann Y. Seino
Class of 1980
By Taylor Perry
Sharyl Ann Y. Seino (formerly Sharyl Ann Y. Tsutsui) is the school librarian at Lahainaluna High School, the oldest school west of the Rockies! She has lived on Maui for the past 20 years and was a former elementary school teacher and elementary school librarian.
Sharyl began her love for the library as a youngster when her mother took her every week to borrow books from the Hilo Public Library. She had always dreamt of becoming a librarian, but instead, trained as an elementary teacher at UH Manoa, doing her student teaching at Liholiho Elementary School. After graduating, she taught kindergarten and fourth grade at King Kamehameha III School in Lahaina. While at King Kamehameha III School, she was asked to be the acting librarian and loved the job so much that she took a sabbatical and went back to school for her Masters degree in library and information studies at UH Manoa.
Lahainaluna High School's new library, which opened in 2003, is a modern and up-to-date facility, which has boosted Lahainaluna’s academic atmosphere and is helping students to transition into their post-high school education. The library additionally boosts a 270-degree panoramic view of Moloka’i, Lanai and Kaho’olawe and the ocean. Sharyl's philosophy for her library is not that of a stereotypical old-fashioned librarian; talking and communication are allowed because they influence learning. She is a "teaching" librarian and assists teachers in planning research projects. Additionally in the new library, technology is emphasized and there is heavy use of computers. Her role as a librarian has changed with the times.
Her day begins with students outside the library door waiting for her to open. Before school, morning and lunch recesses are the busiest times as students are free to use the library on their own time. The majority of her time is spent assisting students with their information needs. During the school day, classes come to the library to use library resources for research projects. During class periods without classes, time is spent helping individual students with their research projects, ordering new books, cataloging, and teaming with teachers to plan an integrated curriculum. Being the only adult in the large facility, Sharyl credits her student aides as vital to her library operations. They go through an application process and extensive training to assist her in running the library.
Being a school librarian is a fulfilling and rewarding career and Sharyl says having her background in teaching makes her a better school library media specialist.
Sharyl says that she imagines her years at Waiakea as very different from today. When she attended Waiakea High she knew almost everyone of her 300+ classmates. As a member of the first graduating class, there were no freshman, juniors, or seniors, only sophomores. What stands out the most is how close she and her classmates were. They always had brand new equipment, new sports equipment, and new furniture, but the downside was that construction was also happening. Waiakea High school influenced her to go on to a higher and better education.