VHS welcomes new librarian
By Daalny Meyer, Reporter
In early December, Vashon Island High School library got a new librarian, Emily Bunker. Bunker and her partner, VHS English teacher Cristina Ramirez, moved to the island in August 2021.
After growing up in Boise, Idaho, Bunker has found the landscape and atmosphere of Vashon quite different.
“I really like Vashon,” Bunker said. “It’s kind of like living in Seattle, but not living in Seattle. [You don’t have] to deal with the traffic. The ferries are a little difficult sometimes, but it’s a very cool community and I love the scenery.”
Since moving to the island, Bunker and Ramirez have become staff members at VHS and become engaged. They met in college in 2017, when they were in a class together at Western Washington University.
“I didn’t really get to know her until spring of 2017, [when] we took a geology course together,” Ramirez said. “I like to sit up front, and Emily happened to wake up late that day, rush into the room, and take the first seat in the front [that] happened to be near me. That’s when I first started to get to know her.”
Since meeting Bunker, Ramirez’s impressions of her have changed significantly.
“This is a running joke,” Ramirez said. “When I first met her, she was very quiet, and I was super intimidated.
I admired her responses and discussions, but she would never talk to me. [But] getting to know her, she’s just incredibly sweet and dorky.”
Senior Katherine Kirschner spends a lot of time in the library, including before school, during break and lunch, and during sixth when she has a free period.
“She seems sweet,” Kirschner said. “She’s very quiet, but she is very clearly lovely, and I have really enjoyed her presence as well.”
For Kirschner, as a frequent library visitor, the change in staff was difficult to accept right away.
“Callan has been a huge emotional support, so it was really hard to learn that she wouldn’t be in the same spot all the time,” Kirschner said. “I was really worried about the changing dynamic of the library with a new librarian. But Callan actually said ‘I’m hoping to convince this person to apply, and I think they’ll be really good.’ That was reassuring.”
Ramirez noticed Bunker’s commitment to the library from the start, as Bunker worked on her application and discussed her ideas for the library itself.
“She was obsessed with making sure her application was right for this job,” Ramirez said. “We had a discussion one day and she was so passionate about being a voice for the students and bringing in books that represent the students. It clicked for me how much this job really meant to her, and even in later weeks when she got the job, I [saw] how passionate she was about the students.”
So far, Bunker has enjoyed being librarian and stepping into the library space and atmosphere.
“It’s been really cool. The space that Callan created before me is a really nice safe space for students. It’s been really nice to kind of bond to that safe space, and support students in that way, in addition to checking out books. That’s been a really rewarding part,” Bunker said.
Outside of the library, Bunker enjoys playing music, reading, and writing. These interests are part of what inspired her to become librarian and work to continue making the library a safe and comfortable place for students.
“I really like music, [both] listening and attempting to play. I’ve got a guitar at home, and a piano. I’m definitely [into] reading; [I’m] so excited to be in the library,” Bunker said. “I like books, and I like to help people, and [getting to] combine those two things and really just explore random topics in depth, [is really] cool.”