Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Conundrum

This is what the library looks like for much of the day. This is when high school students should be in class.

Most students who have a study hall in their schedules, have it 4th period. The computers are full, and a few students are working at their books.

And then there's before school, break/activity period, lunch and after school. This is when most students have free time, and can come to the library to study. These pictures show a typical Wednesday activity period -- chock-a-block with kids, at the tables, in the carrels, on the floor, talking and noisy, but by and large they really are studying.

One of the results of the library's popularity as a group study space is that some students, especially those in the younger grades or who study solo, don't feel comfortable in the midst of the activity. No librarian likes to see 9th graders come in, take a quick look and then leave. But how to meet the needs of students with different study styles?

Since the elementary library moved to its new space, I've been able to offer an alternative for students who find the library Great Room too noisy and distracting.

This was the scene in the Quiet Study space last Wednesday activity period. Eleven students, quiet as eleven studious mice. Spartan, but it works.

So what do you do when you really need extra, differentiated and divided room, but only for part of the day, and there are many other folks who also need space at school? Is there a way to meet multiple needs in the same space? There are many many possibilities and many many needs, but until our campus "musical buildings" settles out, a nice, cozy Quiet Study is a welcome place to have.

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