What Does the Next-Generation School Library Look Like?
At a time when public libraries are starting to offer everything from community gardening plots to opportunities to check out humans for conversations, some school libraries are similarly re-evaluating their roles and expanding their offerings. Case in point: Monticello High School in Charlottesville, Virginia. When librarian Joan Ackroyd arrived there four years ago, she found an environment very different from the “engaging, creative, fun” elementary and middle school libraries to which she was accustomed. “Its library was none of those things,” she recalls. “It was a traditional, quiet research space.” Ackroyd decided this wasn’t optimal. As her first step, she and her co-librarian at the time (music teacher Dave Glover), converted a storeroom into a technology lab. Teachers balked because the library was no longer quiet, but students liked it, and many at-risk students became frequent visitors. “Students work more productively in that kind of environment,” Ackroyd says.
• Future of libraries