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Facilities Project

MEDT 6461

Karen Swartz

Current Layout

Mountain View High School is a relatively new school, so it has the benefits of a modern

design and a good physical structure with little wear and tear. The media center is, in fact, quite

beautiful. The centerpiece is the two story rotunda with large glass windows. Natural light is in

abundance and the space feels airy and welcoming. The current layout is rather nice. In the

fiction section, wooden shelves are arranged at an angle, giving a sense of movement. Shelves

are low so that they do not cut off the light, and displays on their tops can be easily seen. In one

corner is a small classroom with mobile tables and chairs and a projector screen. This is quite

popular with teachers. The columns that are an inescapable feature of the rotunda are surrounded

by built-in wooden counters. Many have monitors and stools. One was used for a book display.

Part of the the rotunda area is given over to mobile desks and chairs. The nonfiction section was

smaller, reflecting the move to digital reference. This space is frequently required for testing, so

there are desks with computer monitors in place. There is shelving against the walls in both the

nonfiction and fiction areas. Around the edge of the rotunda the media specialist has placed small

tables and bar stools. As lovely as the rotunda is, the media specialist says that the architects did

not think about acoustics, and noise and conversations are amplified. Private conversations in the

rotunda can be clearly overheard. She would like to find a way to baffle the noise that doesn’t
obscure the light. She would like to open up an area for a possible makerspace and also bring in

board games and projects for students to enjoy. My daughter suggested the library would benefit

from more comfortable seating.

Revised Layout

Goal 1: Noise Reduction


The noise issue ruled out any possibility of putting the makerspace into the rotunda and

taking advantage of the natural light there. To dampen it as much as possible, I would plan to

purchase something like these ceiling mounted decorative panels:

https://www.versare.com/sound-stones-ceiling-acoustic-panels.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwndvlBRA

NEiwABrR32N0GKr_vWBazBXuyoTRaAALv7UgxUk1Z2D2dq-QxoBdWgKAuJYdfcxoC-_I

QAvD_BwE​. I also think it would be wise to replace the cute metal tables and stools around the

periphery of the rotunda with wooden ones to help absorb some of the noise.

Goal 2: A More Mobile Testing Area

I was surprised that there were not many laptops in the library. This means that all the

testing happens on desks with monitors, making it virtually impossible to move them. I agree

with Woolls and Coatney (2018, p. 119) that flexibility is a key consideration when designing

space. I would replace the monitors with laptops and the larger desks with smaller, mobile ones.

It is impossible to escape using the library for testing, but this would allow for a rearrangement

when there is no testing, so that desks could be pushed out of the way entirely, or moved to

another area, or configured for collaboration.

Goal 3: More Seating

There are currently sufficient tables and seating suitable for collaboration and computer

work. But there is only one comfortable and pleasant cushioned seating area. I reduced the size

of the circulation desk (which seemed unnecessarily large) to open up the space a bit, removed

the computer desks behind circulation and replaced them with a sofa and table. I moved the
current seating to another area and then added more seating as well as a corner cabinet and

shelving to hold board games, coloring books, and other possible casual pastimes such as

puzzles, crossword puzzles, Madlibs, and cards.

Goal 4: Mobile Shelving and Book Culling

I really like the current arrangement of shelving in the fiction section, but they have the

look of permanence - of furniture too heavy to easily move. I would follow Woolls and

Coatney’s advice (2018, p. 124) and suggest mobile shelving that can be rearranged as needed.

Shelving could even be moved against walls for special events outside normal library hours, and

adjusted as the collection changes. I couldn’t create the proper shape on the layout, but I am

actually imagining that some of the shelving is curved, which would look particularly nice in the

rotunda. I think the bookshelves along the wall could be a bit higher to help with consolidation.

The fiction section needs to be judiciously culled after examining the circulation statistics. There

are, and I hesitate to say this because I would keep all the books if I could, too much fiction. The

shelving arrangement I created is meant to emphasize the rotunda, which is the focal point of the

space. More signage that usual will be needed to identify the shelves now that they are mobile,

perhaps printable magnetic labels that can be easily changed out.

Goal 5: A Makerspace Area

I would like to set aside an area with tables and shelving for a simple makerspace. Legos,

circuits, and possibly arduino sets could be included. One article mentioned a button maker,

which I think is an excellent idea (Luhtala, 2017). Each table could “serve up” an activity a
month, as Lolley suggests (2015) for involving older students. This area can develop with input

from students and teachers. These tables should also be mobile in case they need to be

reconfigured.
References

Lolley, S. (2015). How librarians are rockin’ the makerspace movement. Retrieved from

https://www.commonsense.org/education/articles/how-librarians-are-rockin-the-makersp

ace-movement

Luhtala, M. (2017). Makerspace in pictures. ​School Library Connection.​ ABC-CLIO.

Woolls, B. & Coatney, S. (2018). ​The school library manager.​ (6th ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries

Unlimited.