After undergoing a transformation, a middle school library is a digital hub, connecting students to information and skills using technology and serving as a resource for learning.
The library at Central York Middle School is not a room of silence, but more likely a room where the hum of technology and the sound of students quietly collaborating on projects are the daily sounds.
Each student received either an iPad or a MacBook this year, and the middle school has turned its library into the “Library and Learning HUB,” a space designed to better fit digital learners.
The main library space now looks into three classrooms, where students take a “Skills for Digital Age Learners” course. A version of the class used to be taught in ninth grade at the high school, but with the expansion of the 1:1 technology it was needed at the middle school level, said district spokeswoman Julie Romig.
The HUB also has some cozier furniture and high tables near outlets that are more technology-friendly. A tech support window in the library provides walk-up service to students having problems.
Two small rooms where students will be able to work in small groups are in progress. Romig said the idea is to create more “maker spaces” where students can use technology to create.
In Tammy Howell’s class Thursday, students used their MacBooks and iPads to start making a video using the prompt “My digital life is like …”
Between Howell and two other teachers, students are learning nine elements of digital citizenship, such as law, etiquette, safety and ethics. After the first marking period, the teachers will work with other courses, such as social studies or science, to use the digital skills in projects in those courses.
Howell said a library should be a center for community, whether it’s a school or town library.