Ms.Faas’ Taking Charge

In the last decade, there have been many changes to Ames High and its facilities: a new sports complex, a new building, and many others. But what about the resources and information within the building, and more importantly, who manages it?


Erin Faas

Ms. Faas at heaven in the Ames High library.

For the first time in nearly ten years, Ames High has added a certified Library technician, Erin Faas, to our staff. 

Ms. Faas is from the small town of Osage, Iowa, and is familiar with working with smaller communities. She has numerous degrees, a professional educator’s license, and administration certification.

Though she is incredibly experienced and more than qualified for the position, Faas admits that the first few years will be a challenge at Ames. Many community members believe the significant loss of storage space will be one of the biggest issues she runs into- however, her focus centers on the quality of the resources available.

“Right now, my biggest concern is [the age of] the collection.” Given she is the first certified library technician Ames has had in a decade, she is dealing with the pressure of updating the library. “When I started, I found we didn’t have a budget. I was very active right away: if you want a state-of-the-art facility and someone certified to run it, we need direct support for the growth and development of it.” 

After consultation with various parties, they established a budget for the new library, and Faas began updating the program and collaborating with other businesses to ensure students access an assortment of books from each.

“Keeping the library up to date is incredibly important. Providing new and unique copies and titles sparks interest and ensures we supply students with reliable sources.” 

She also mentioned some of the misconceptions regarding student media intake. 

“Sure, information and resources used for classes are often credible and easily accessible via the internet. But students often prefer to pick up a [physical] book if they’re interested in the topic. Honestly, it’s keeping books alive.”

But Ms. Faas and the challenges ahead of her expand beyond managing the library. When they aren’t utilizing open-campus privileges, upperclassmen use the library as a commons area, often leaving Ms. Faas to monitor a group of students. To her, this is less of a grievance and more of an opportunity.

“I hope to make the library more accessible to everybody. Building a relationship with the students is an enjoyable aspect of my job- and I want this to be a space where we can collaborate, and everyone can be themselves.”

Because her career journey hasn’t been linear: following unfavorable circumstances and little opportunity at a previous school, she finds that Ames gives her a chance to exercise and strengthen her skills and grow- her optimism is vibrant.

“I find it very rewarding to take on a challenge. Using my knowledge and experience to help build a program from the ground up and to help the community grow was intriguing to me. At Ames, I feel I am listened to and consulted. We are one of the first points of contact. I am happy to have that chance and be closer to home.”