Learning center becomes a student resource

Changes Made to the Media Center in Hopes of Encouraging Students


Kortney Huggins

Kristan Smith, senior, and Katelyn Kominski, junior, study on the couch. Smith went to the library to read because she feels like it’s the most peaceful and quiet place.

Kortney Huggins, Staff Writer

At the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, Ola welcomed Stacey Caldwell, new media specialist, with open arms. Caldwell wants to bring forth more changes to the library.

“[I want to] change how students view the library if they felt negatively about it before,but I really want students to see this place as a resource, so that’s what I’m working towards. I want teachers and students to see this place as a resource.” Caldwell said.

One of the first changes made in the media center was the change from the Dewey Decimal System to having books arranged by genre. Cheryl Benton, former media specialist, started the process, but Cheryl Brown, current media specialist, and Caldwell finished it and have since rearranged the book placements.

“She [Benton] came up with the general layout. They had already divided the collection into genres, but we’ve changed the location of the genres since then… most schools have went to a genrefied library within the past couple of years.” Caldwell said.

Along with the books being arranged by genre, the specialists wanted to give the library a more welcoming look. They designed the library so there is a station for each students needs in hopes to prepare them for college. There is a project station called the “Makerspace”, a section for studying and plenty of comfortable seating for reading.

“If you’re college-bound, the library will be where you spend most of your time when you’re not in class. The easier things are to understand here, the easier it will be to go to a college and understand it there,” Caldwell said. .

In addition to the new layout of the library, students also appreciate that they can request for books to be purchased. Caldwell allows students to request their own books in hopes of students utilizing the library and all of its new features.

“They have couches, and sometimes play light music, so that was nice. It’s not as strict, so I feel like more people come in here. It’s like a place for quiet and to focus on whatever you want to do,” Kristan Smith, senior, said.

Brown and Caldwell hope to see more and more students coming into the library. Their goal is to make sure students use the library now and in the future.

“For the future, we are hoping to continue to add books to our collection that students actually want to read. Right now, we just focus on month-to-month” Brown said.

Along with the changes made to the layout, Caldwell and Brown made changes to the book collection as well as the promotions for reading. Caldwell uses money from fines, printing and the school-store to purchase new books for the students.

“I did the Winter Reading Challenge to promote reading, and I also did the half-priced fines which I don’t think they’ve done before. We’ve just been trying to make a more conscious effort to get more students in here,” said Caldwell.

With the changes made and bright plans for future changes, Caldwell and Brown are eager to see students in the library and preparing them for their futures. As a way to promote reading, the media center will be holding different events for Read Across America during the week of Feb. 25 to March 1 and will end the week with poetry reading.