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The Alhambra library: a haven outside of home and school

The Alhambra Source Youth Feed is investigating how the recession is affecting what local young people do with their free time. Daniel Tsang is a senior at Alhambra High School. When the bell rings he heads to the library, where he doesn't have to worry about strict parents and can study and talk with his friends. 

What's your opinion on your time here at the library, has it been a positive influence on you or has it changed you in a significant way?

I love the library, really I do. I usually come here instead of going home since my parents are very strict about having friends over, and I’m not involved with many after-school activities. My friends and I come here and we hang out — it's just another extension of the school day. Overall, the library has actually been a pretty good influence on me. You can go on the computers, you can read books, there's so much here at the library. I know I can rely on the library: personally I don't have a library at home and when I want to read something I come here to look for it and I read it.

What type of books do you like to check out at the library?

It's our senior year so we've checked out a lot of books about colleges and majors, about financial aid, about admissions essays. I don't want to buy my own SAT prep book I only need for like a month or something. I would just check one out and use it. I remember this one time last year when we came to the library hoping to find books about the SAT, but the shelves were pretty much barren. We laughed because there were so many people who took it seriously. At the same time, we were kind of sad because we had no books to study with. Because of the budget, the library doesn't have as many books to borrow.

Is there anything the school administration can do to make you stay on campus instead of going back to the library?

With many of the clubs having to fundraise on their own, often times it's not enough and students have to pay for their clothes and their events. I wanted to do track, but I heard you often have to pay for your jersey and sweater totaling up to $30 or $40. I decided against it, because it was mandatory, you have to pay if you're part of the team. There’s a lot of school clubs where you have to raise funds on your own. It's not a pleasant thing to raise your own money for other club members. I guess that explains why students clubs are relatively small at our school. 

Interview has been edited and condensed.

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