Visit any larger bookstore or coffee shop and you will notice high-school students cozily tucked into soft chairs and sipping coffee while doing homework. Think about the competition media specialists face as they plan new or remodeled media centers! We definitely considered this trend as a district committee began planning for remodeling our senior high's current media center.
Creating a media center that is "forward-looking, inviting, and welcoming" was at the top of our list. These other priorities were also on that list:
* Creating a transparent information environment that supports both active and quiet learning
* Providing equitable access to information in all formats
* Making sure program needs drive facility needs
* Providing multiple computer labs and access to numerous computers not in the lab
* Ensuring generous access to data and electricity
* Having abundant storage
* Accessibility to the center before and after the school day
* Providing good supervision and a safe environment
* Visibility and a central location
Maintaining the current beautiful view
We toured a dozen new or recently remodeled facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We visited media centers that were palatial and others that were traditional and surprisingly small for the student population. We saw facilities that placed a high priority on technology and others that provided only a limited number of research stations. We were especially impressed with facilities that were welcoming and inviting while providing high-quality access to information in all formats and first-rate access to technology productivity tools.
This column highlights some design features that caught our attention. Hopefully, there will be some options here that might work for you if you are fortunate enough to have a media center design or redesign in your future.
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