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Old 09-16-2012, 08:36 PM   #1
morriss003
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How Would You Create a New Elementary School Library?

I'm sure there are a lot of new concepts in elementary school libraries. Some are probably poorly conceived or implemented. Some are mediocre. How would you find out which systems have been well received by the users and their parents?

What would you do? How would you start? This is info to be passed on to the principal and librarian at a school under construction.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:03 AM   #2
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http://pinterest.com/scsdmedia/schoo...d-furnishings/

Kind of a broad question. Are you asking about layout? furnishings? books? media? When I was a kid, the library was cases of books in a room with tables that comfortably seated adults or kids. That was well received.

Libraries aren't special. Go to other schools and see what they have done. If something appeals, copy it. Some considerations here...

http://www.ehow.com/how_5079514_desi...l-library.html

Some ideas here...

http://www.bcieurobib.com/projects/
http://www.ncef.org/rl/libraries.cfm
http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org...-super-schools
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:35 AM   #3
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Yes, the question was broad. Perhaps I should have asked, What will an average good elementary school library look like fifteen years from now? Will there even be a library? Will all the books be ebooks? If so, how will they be accessed? From monitors, ereaders, tablets or will they be emailed to the homes of the students in the format of choice? It would be nice to avoid as much obsolescence as possible.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:33 AM   #4
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There will. Not because it is necessary but because too many jobs would be lost closing them. Even when all texts are available electronically and all research can be done online, libraries will exist in schools. (My oldest has brought home a number of assignments that prohibited using the internet for research.)

There is a LOT of money in the library industry -- publishers, library employees, authors, and delivery services would all take a tremendous hit if we decided schools did not need libraries.

They will change, however, into internet terminals with expensive, high speed internet for employees and patrons. (My public library will not let you use your own computer or tablet with their internet service -- you have to use their PCs. The Director of Libraries' nephew is the library's IT Director and her son is a librarian.)
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:21 AM   #5
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Personally I have not been in my son's library at school, however what I am told is that the county is moving towards a digital model for the library. In stead of having rows and rows of books in the school library the county has recognized that most of the students have digital readers and they much prefer there books that way. Instead of the traditional library with lots of rows of books the new 21st century library has become a lot smaller and instead has a room full of internet servers in the back room that have expanded to take up the space originally taken up by the printed books. They have a few laptops going between classes connecting students to the school's wireless server that brings the digital library to the classroom. The county has been focused on bringing the library to the students not the other way around.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
There will. Not because it is necessary but because too many jobs would be lost closing them. Even when all texts are available electronically and all research can be done online, libraries will exist in schools. (My oldest has brought home a number of assignments that prohibited using the internet for research.)
I think that libraries will close because of the cost savings in eliminating the employees. That is certainly the direction taken by other businesses, and I see no reason that libraries will be exempt. New necessary jobs may take their place. Many schools in my area employ 'heavies' to help handle the kids. Their titles elude me at this point, but when I was working in a school, one of these guys told me he used to be a prison guard. It seemed to me that he still was one.

I also want to comment on the homework assignments. Back when I was in conservatory, one of my professors required that all work be hand written. I understood his mentation, however, my time would have been better spent using computer programs to notate my work. Their use would have not only saved time, but would have also given me more experience with the software. Several years later, they began teaching courses in music notation software. It does not surprise me to find that Ludditeism is alive an well in our schools. Maybe this is a new form of teaching, in which students learn by experience.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:52 AM   #7
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Elementary school libraries have multiple functions and it is best to talk to teachers directly about their needs.

First and foremost, school libraries need to be designed around books. Students will be signing out books for independent reading, and I doubt that all of the technology in the world is going to change that any time soon (due to cost and distractions).

Even though most of those books will be stories and information books, your library will probably need a section set aside for classroom resources. These are books that students may need to do research projects.

And yes, ensure that you have computers in there. These computers should be able to provide locally hosted research materials that have been selected based upon your school's literacy levels. Have a way to manage subscriptions for specialized resources as well.

The library will need three types of work areas. Tables for the older grades, plenty of floor space (hard, not carpeted) for the younger grades, and an area for read-alouds. There should also be plenty of nooks for kids to tuck into while reading independently.

Anyhow, those are just a few ideas.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:54 PM   #8
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Elementary school libraries need to be large rooms with lots of lighting, warm colors, low shelves, and plenty of physical books that the small children can take down and read and check out and carry home and smell and feel and enjoy.

Please do not frighten away small children from the library by making it some sterile, cold place with no warmth or wonder.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:29 AM   #9
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These are some very good comments. I wonder if small children would be more apt to enjoy physical books than older children. Perhaps most of the physical books should be aimed at K to 3 with the electronic reading aimed at grades 4 and 5. I'm not saying all, just most. But I also wonder if, in the future, it will be cheaper to give every student an ereader rather than build a library, and have those resources which are usually centered in the library, available in individual classrooms instead. Hawaii is also one of those states with an enormous budget crunch.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:48 AM   #10
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In the future, ereaders will probably take over for all grade levels. Yet the future is unlikely to be here for a couple of more decades because there are a number of issues to overcome. These include things like usability, cost, availability of resources, and technical proficiency (of children and teachers).

Another thing to consider is that kids like going to the library. Part of the reason may be the tactile nature of finding and reading pbooks, but they also like the change of scenery: walking there, exploring a new space, having a space that is geared towards imagination rather than learning.
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