Posted by Julie Walleisa | February 24, 2019
Many elementary school educational specifications or project goals talk about how the library or media center should be the heart of the school and a more active and engaging space, but often concerns about things like collection counts and standardized testing, and a more traditional vision of a library, end up taking precedence over that vision. There are many ways to overcome these concerns through open media centers that make literacy and reading a prominent part of students’ daily experience while embracing more hands-on content creation using mobile technology.
On one recent project, the design committee was immediately drawn to an early floorplan concept based around a centrally-located media center envisioned as an open and interactive space, rather than a quiet library with fixed computer labs. Our team studied different options for how this might work for the school’s needs. As the design developed, this central media center evolved into a main area that is completely open to the corridor and can spill out into that space, and a second area that can be opened or closed through sliding glass panels.
To balance the desire for openness and activity with staff’s practical concerns, this design:
This is just one example of the way traditional elementary libraries have transformed to use strategies like distributed collections, maker spaces, mobile technology, and reward spaces to promote multi-channel literacy and increase student engagement.
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