photo by Emily Bixler
As technology continues to change and grow, many institutions are changing with them. Where libraries were once just a place to take out books, they are now gaining new functionality.
Over the summer, the library underwent a variety of changes, including new furniture, whiteboard tables, and large TVs. This is on the heels of other changes to the library in the last few years, like the removal of library computers and the addition of the career center.
“It’s more of a location that students can go down and have those opportunities to work together and to work on different subjects and projects,” said Assistant Principal John Shaffer, who oversaw most of the project. “That’s the idea behind it; we want it to be a functional, usable space and not a space that’s just sitting there.”
While Shaffer planned many of the changes, he also helped to build and arrange much of it. The changes were largely intended to expand students’ options while in the library.
“It gives our students options to be able to use the technology we have added to our library,” said Shaffer. “It’s more of a 21st Century kind of idea for a library media / collaborative center instead of the old traditional quiet library, nonfunctional space.”
One addition is the TVs, which are capable of both simultaneous and separate display. They can be connected to student laptops for presentations, show videos, and display content for students.
“It’s limitless, you could use it for anything,” said librarian Katy Gerhart.
Over 100 students could be comfortably accommodated by the library’s setup. While individual students go there during free time, entire classes and clubs can also utilize the spaces.
“You have that individual side, you have the classroom side and then a lot of the collaborative spaces for students to use,” said Shaffer.
Starting this year, tutoring also takes place in the library, while it used to occur in the counseling office. It was moved to the library because of the open space and resources available.
“We just thought it would be a really good idea to use the resources for tutoring,” said senior Viraj Govani, Co-coordinator of the math and science tutoring program.
For many subjects, tutors use the new whiteboard tables, as they allow for better visualization of information. Since there are several of these tables, multiple tutors can use them at the same time.
“I think the biggest impact has been that instead of just writing stuff on a small sheet of paper, the tutor and the tutee can both just write on an interactive space,” said Govani. “For science you can draw diagrams, for math you can write out equations, and it’s just a better way for them to teach.”