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Helen Diaz MEDT 6461 Facilities Project

Lovin Elementary School- Media Center


Facility Renovation Proposal
July 2016

Lovin Elementary School was built in 2006. The enrollment is about 950 students.
The student population includes general education classes for Kindergarten through fifth
grades, two self-contained classes serving students who have been diagnosed with
significant developmental delay, three self-containted autism classes, and six special
education pre-K classes. There are also about 85 classroom and special education teachers
and instructional I support staff.

I have worked at Lovin Elementary School for five years. In my experience, I have
always found the media center very inviting and accessible. I have never felt there would
be anything I would change about our media center. There are two doors from which you
may enter. One door is off of the main lobby of the school and the other is from the back
hall near the classrooms. Just inside the front door is a section with comfortable chairs
that can be used for leisure reading. The circulation desk has good sight lines to all areas
of the media center and there is a natural flow from one area to the next. There is an area
in a back corner designated as a computer lab that can be used by classes or individual
students and for the media specialist to teach a media specials class. There is a large
section to one side of the circulation desk for fiction picture books and a separate section
to the opposite side of the circulation desk for fiction chapter books. Reference materials
are all stored on shelves along one wall. In the back of the media center, near the
computer lab, is the non-fiction section. The center of the media center is a large area
with several tables on wheels that can be used for whole group instruction. This area is
also used for faculty meetings. There is also a small area that teachers may sign up to
bring in their classes for story time. There is a separate room behind the media clerk and
media specialist's offices set up as a production lab. There is also a storage room and a
work room. The work room also houses all of the professional learning library and audio
visual materials. Initially, my only concern with the media center was four support
columns that are very inconveniently placed.

Our media specialist has also put a lot of effort into making the facility attractive and
conducive to learning. There are murals painted on the tray ceiling with inspirational
quotes about reading and learning. Colorful decorative elements related to literacy and
media are hung on the walls and sit on top of the bookshelves. Hardback books stand on
the bookshelves in each section as a representation of the books found in that particular
section. Colorful signs label each section so that all students can easily find the section
appropriate for their task. Both print and electronic resources are readily available and
easily accessible. The facility is also very well lit. The media center is a very active place
in our school. Individual students and whole classes frequently visit the media center to
check out books, do research, and use the computer lab. It is very rare to walk into the
media center and not find teachers or students working.
After interviewing the media specialist and completing the readings, I was able to
identify some ways to improve the facility. The main challenge in the physical
arrangement of the facility is the placement of support columns. Two of the columns are
in the large group area. Individuals sitting in certain areas may have difficulty seeing the
drow down projector screen. There are very few electrical outlets throughout the facility.
Placement of the electrical outlets need to be taken into consideration when planning
areas for instructional use. There are good acoustics in most of the media center with
the exception of some echoing in the circulation area due to lower ceiling height. Our
media specialist designed the layout of the facility with input from other media specialists
in our district, so she is very pleased with the layout. The only change she would make
would be to make the story time area larger.

The media center should be the central learning hub of the school. It should provide
"Space and seating that enhances and encourages technology use, leisure reading and
browsing, and use of materials in all formats" (AASL, 2009, p.33). AASL (2009, p.34)
also says "The physical space serves as an intellectual gymnasium with multiple, flexible
spaces that accommodate a variety of learning tasks. Among such tasks are information
seeking, collaborating, and communicating, as well as reading and browsing, and use of
multi-media formats." Flexible spaces also allow the learner to choose their learning
environment. Woolls, Weeks, and Coatney suggest that "When students come to the
library, they should be able to choose the seating option in which they are most
comfortable" (2014, p.140). These flexible spaces and technology use support the
school's STEAM and project-based learning initiatives. In addition to flexible spaces
and technology use, Bergman suggests that media specialists "Create, innovate, and share
thoughts and ideas by redesigning space to encourage creativity and innovation" (2017,
p.2) by creating MakerSpaces.

Since the opening of our school, we have adopted new initiatives that have had a
strong impact on our classroom instruction. These initiatives include STEAM and
project-based learning which require a great deal of inquiry-based and collaborative
learning opportunities. Many teachers have adapted their classroom set up to incorporate
flexible seating, technology, and a more collaborative learning environment. Our media
specialist has begun transitioning the media center to support these initiatives. Because of
limited funds, this transition is slowly coming along.

With research and these new initiatives in mind, I propose the following renovations
to improve the facility.

1.) Increase the number of small group/independent work areas:


I propose the rearrangement of bookshelves in two areas: the nonfiction section and
fiction chapter book section. In the nonfiction section, I propose moving two rows of
shelves in this section to run parallel to the shelves along the wall of the media center,
leaving the middle row in place. This will create two areas that can be used for small
groups or individuals to use as they conduct research. In the fiction chapter book section,
I propose moving a similar change in moving the shelves perpendicular to the media
center wall to run parallel to the wall. This will create an area that can be used for small
group collaboration or leisure reading.

2.) Provide areas to support STEAM and project-based learning:


I propose the creation of a Makerspace near the front entrance of the media center.
The magazines would be moved to a double sided rolling shelf that can be placed in
different areas throughout the facility. This change will create a space where students
could work on different engineering tasks. This area would also house necessary storage
and a peg board to hold necessary materials, table where students may use as a workspace,
and an easel for students as they collaborate to complete their task. The additional small
group and independent work areas discussed above will also support these initiatives. The
area inside the front doors will also have a space with a rug and floor pillows that can be
used for leisure reading or small group collaboration.

3) Create a larger story time area:


I propose the rearrangement of the shelving in the fiction picture book section to
increase the size of the story time area. Pushing the two shelves along the large group
area together provides space to move one of the shelves along the wall. The shelf
separating the story time area from the fiction picture book section can be moved to make
the story time area larger. The open space in this section can also be made into a leisure
reading area by putting comfortable chairs in this area.

The addition of small group collaboration and leisure reading areas, a MakerSpace,
and a larger story time area offers the potential for the media center to better meet the
needs of both students and teachers and supports the school-wide initiatives of STEAM
and project-based learning. Students can become inquirers, investigators, researchers,
engineers, thinkers, and problem solvers independently and with the support of teachers
and the media specialist.

References:

American Association of School Librarians. (2009). Empowering learners: Guidelines for


school library media programs. Chicago, IL.: American Library Association.

Bergman, D. (2017). Libraries, cybraries, learning commons, makerspaces, and more!


School Library Connection. Retrieved from http://slc.librariesunlimited.com/

Woolls, B., A. C., & Coatney, S. (2014). The School library manager. (5th ed.). Westport,
CT: Libraries Unlimited.
Original Floor Plan:
Renovated Floor Plan: