On a steamy Wednesday morning in the Oak Hills High School library -- the message to turn on the air conditioning in the building hadn't gotten through to the right people yet -- approximately 30 students, staff and teachers showed up to put books on the library shelves for the first time ever.

"All right, guys," said Principal Larry Porras, surveying his troops. "Welcome to your home."

The school will open for business on August 10, the first day of the 2009-2010 school year. While much of the school is done -- the walls are up, the doors have been hung and the walls have been painted -- there's still yet more to do.

Sod is being rolled onto barren land. Classrooms still await their teachers creating their bulletin boards. And in the library, there were 6,500 books to uncrate and shelve.

Under the watchful eye of Mackin booksellers sales consultant Todd Blackmoore, the volunteers shelved $150,000 in books in less than two hours, and an additional $100,000 in novels intended for classroom use, placed in a storage room off-limits to students.

The boxes were pre-sorted, using the Dewey Decimal System. Fiction books -- from Joseph Conrad through the Twilight series -- here. Biographies -- including books on Jackie Robinson and Tom Brokaw -- there. Study guides -- including for the California High School Exit Examination -- there.

"You can't leave it to one librarian to do all this," said Porras.

The one librarian in question -- Jennifer McCormick -- is a new high school librarian to match the brand new Oak Hills library, after 20 years of serving as the librarian of Maple Elementary School. She loved the job, she said, but was ready for a new challenge.

"I didn't get to make any decisions [at Oak Hills], but I get to make any decisions now!" she grinned, watching as the library took shape. "Gosh, they're almost done."

The library shelves were only partially filled in the end: The bottom two shelves of the five-level shelving units were left empty, and the upper three were each only about half-filled, a combination of tight budgets and an eye toward acquiring additional books each school year.

In addition to books, the library has space for two separated classes of students and a 38-station computer lab.

"And we have a library," said Porras, looking around. "Just add water."

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.