Session 1: Changing the Layout of the Library to Acommodate Students with Handhelds

This is the Post for Session 1 in Brunswick 1 & 2 — add notes to the comments section!

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About Sophie Brookover

Program Coordinator for LibraryLinkNJ--The New Jersey Library Cooperative. Former HS & YA librarian, YA Lit maven, Twitter bon vivant, baking enthusiast, mama.
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2 Responses to Session 1: Changing the Layout of the Library to Acommodate Students with Handhelds

  1. I have all my QR code notes on #HHSLNJ on Twitter. I’ll post later if I condense them elsewhere.

  2. Brian Stafford says:

    Topics and issues discussed in the session
    “Changing Library Layouts to Accommodate Students with Handhelds”

    There seemed to be an overriding theme to our discussion that it is impossible to predict what a library will look like in ten years and with that in mind the librarian and administration need to be open to transformation. An example was give that the Princeton Public Library during a recent renovation bought furniture that is not designed to last for many years knowing that it will not be the furniture needed a few years down the road.
    There is a lot of discussion in the library literature of the library being a commons area. The Cushman Academy has received some attention for this concept. The term hybrid library is popular in describing library collections.
    It is important that planners and librarians understand that the students’ view of how a library should look and be used might be different than the librarian’s view.
    Library space has to be flexible even to the point that the furnishings, dividers, and possibly even the bookshelves are moveable. Who is empowered to change facility? Can teachers and students change furnishing in a library on a daily or period-by-period basis?
    Lines of sight in the library is still deemed to be important.
    Varied spaces such as small group rooms for sign out to students and staff were deemed important.
    Planning for different noise levels in the library seemed to be considered a good idea. Furnishings, sound proofing and partitions should facilitate for quiet areas.
    Presentation technology and areas are important both for instruction, large group meetings and for students to practice presentations
    The library is a multi-use facility so it is important to establish areas that can be used in different ways. Different kinds of furniture, seating, and flooring are examples.
    A library should have plenty of electricity options. For instance, there should be work areas where handhelds can be plugged while in use such as electrified tables. Students inevitably will have a handheld that is not charged. There was discussion that leaving handhelds for charging like a coat check could be problematic because the library staff then takes on the task of security while they are charging. It seems that might still be a valuable service, but is it worth the risk and effort?
    There is concern about printing from handhelds. How do students print from internet-only, wireless networks? Can a printer be a choice on a wireless network? This writer’s school technology director says yes if the printer is wireless capable. Can electronic submission of assignments going to be the primary way of submitting work? Does this widen the technology gap?
    Will classes still come to the library in schools where handhelds are allowed and wireless internet access is available? The general consensus seemed to be that they will for a variety of reasons:
    • for instruction from the librarian (there was concern expressed about the librarian being out of the library for excessive amounts of time while teaching in the classroom);
    • for library resources;
    • for small group work frequently combined with computer use;
    • because the librarian is there as an information and a technology consultant;
    • because the library is a multi-use facility meeting the multiple needs of a class;
    • because the library has a variety of technology that is not available in the classroom
    What technology should the library supply?
    • Desktops?
    • Laptops and other handhelds (iPads, ereaders, iPads, etc.)
    • Are the library owned handhelds for in-library use only or also for circulation? There was discussion that the library has a role in filling the technology equity gap.
    • An e-collection
    With more and more information being available in digital format, what is the role of printed books (and journals) in the library? A few of the librarians in the discussion where dealing with administrative pressure to reduce or eliminate book shelving .
    Are subscriptions like Questia an adequate replacement for owning books in either print or digital format? A few in the discussion didn’t think Questia was because the books Questia includes may not be the books that their curriculum needs and because it requires an annual renewal. It seemed to some in the discussion that some areas (fiction and art were given as examples) might need to be collected in both print and digital for the foreseeable future.
    The idea of food and drink being allowed in the library was brought up. There was a collective groan. This writer’s completely non-scientific interpretation of the audience reaction was that nobody likes it but that it was somewhat inevitable.

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