Most folks are aware that libraries are changing as information access and use changes. Twenty-first century libraries are not the old silent tombs used only for reading books hidden away in dusty stacks.
Libraries have become meeting places and workspaces; environments where information access is only the first step in a process of making information useful tools for learning and living.
During last Thursday’s Big Walnut school board, district Director of Academic Achievement Jen Young reported that the Big Walnut High School Media Center — aka the library — and the Big Walnut Middle School Library are being integrated, and the physical spaces at both libraries will change to meet the needs of today’s students.
“We’re looking at making those spaces more collaborative,” Young said. “Libraries will not just be about books, but about creating a space where things can happen.”
Young said there has been a movement changing how libraries look and function across the United States; even public libraries, like Community Library in Sunbury, are becoming Internet access points, meeting places and work spaces for patrons.
“We’ll be creating spaces where students will be able to work on things together – creating videos, a movable stage, collaborative writing tables,” Young said. “It would still be a library. We’re just using the space in a different way; giving them the kind of things they will use day to day.”
Young said the names would change to reflect the new space arrangements. The high school library will become an Innovation Center; at the middle school, it will be called a Learning Center.
“We’re also working closely with Chauncey (Montgomery) at Community Library on this,” Young said. “We’re really excited about the direction this is going.”
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093