2013 Submission to the strategic planning architect for the next series of capital planning.

With great excitement I responded to the Principal’s request to make contact with the architect and indicate the Information Services needs for the future.

This is what I wrote (minus a few specific details):

October 2013

It is very difficult to predict the exact nature of school libraries in the future.  Even in as short a time frame as five to ten years, it is hard to know what types of resources will be required. While books may not be part of the landscape, other educational resources will replace them. Certain functions will, therefore, be ongoing, and that is the premise on which I have based this outline.

Geographically, the ideal location for an Information Services centre is central for ease of access for all the learning community. The location of the current libraries on both campuses is therefore less than ideal.  At the Senior Campus, it will be even worse from the middle of 2014, when the MYPEC opens.

Philosophically a school library underpins the curriculum of all year levels, and should cater to their diverse needs in the broadest sense. Diverse uses are currently made of both libraries, and this will (and should) be an underlying premise for future planning.

Functional requirements:

A school library in an academically focussed college such as ours needs to cater for all students and teachers serviced by the campus. There are multiple demands, some of which are conflicting. As an example of such divergence, places where students can work quietly for sustained reading or studying, and places where lively educational debate can occur.

To this end a renewed Alexandra Library building would need to:

  • Cater for students from Year 6 to Year 12.
  • Cater for individuals, as well as potentially simultaneous classes of up to 25 students in size.
  • Allow line of sight supervision from offices, preferably throughout the entire building
  • Provide flexible spaces for most of the building
  • Be fully cabled to allow the best power and technology solutions for the time
  • Support learning in all its manifestations as well as streamline work flow for those functioning within the spaces.

See: La Marca, S: Rethink!: Ideas for Inspiring School Library Design, School Library Association for Victoria, Melbourne, 2007

http://books.google.com.au/books/about/Rethink.html?id=qVscGgAACAAJ&redir_esc=y

and the Raeco Lookbook which can be downloaded free here: http://www.raeco.com.au/custompage.aspx?custompage=Lookbook

Space requirements:

Large spaces:

  • With seating and tables to suit whole classes of up to 25 students (formal) engaged in class type activities and need the same provision as classrooms, but with added access to shared resources that single classrooms cannot accommodate
  • With comfortable furniture adaptable to whole class silent sustained reading, and individual leisure reading at recess and lunchtime
  • Equipped as a “maker space” fitted out with tables large enough to construct robotics and the like and fitted out with storage to contain the products and parts required.

See:

http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/sylvia-martinez-and-maker-movement.html

Medium spaces:

  • For medium sized classes of either type described above.
  • For engaging in round table debating
  • For teleconferencing; professional learning activities and tutorials
  • Careers advice and research – requiring a combination of formal and informal space with storage, display space, connectivity and adjoining staff office (separate external door an advantage)
  • Office space for Library services (requiring neat and tidy storage, enabling workflow, with reachable sections for different types of resources). This needs to allow for collaborative meetings between teacher-librarian and teachers, either within the office or in a separate meeting room.
  • An AV/ recording space sound proof for  podcasting, vodcasting, and film production
  • A news room (soundproof) to run ABC News24 and allow reading of current affairs magazines and digital news. Many schools have this set up as a space where coffee can be enjoyed as part of the process.

See: Learning for the future: developing information services in schools (Second edition) Australian School Library Association and Australian Library and Information Association, 2001 This publication provides a detailed outline of space requirements for traditional library type activities on page 45:

        Enrolment    301-400 (Senior Campus) 378 square metres minimum

This is further broken down into size allocations for various uses.  I can provide further details if that would be helpful.

Smaller spaces:

  • Other staff offices disbursed throughout the entire space for ease of supervision. Depending on the envisaged use of the space this would include the IT Specialist Teacher office and could include the Head of Senior Years/Head of Year 12
  • Several Cubicles fitted out for  online testing but big enough to be used as study carrels if required for example by students undertaking  Distance Ed &  Languages Other Than English

Other Important considerations:

  1. Computers:  There will continue to be a need for high end computers for teachers and students to use for tasks that require either larger screens or significant RAM.  There would need to be enough overall to meet the needs of more than one class of students at a time and also to cater for drop in printing, or polishing of work, or students who have issues with their individual device.
  2. Shelving and furniture in the main body of the building should allow for easy mobility to cater for different or changing needs.

Award winning school libraries include:

Bialik College http://www.bialik.vic.edu.au/facilities/libraries/

429 Auburn Road
East Hawthorn, Victoria, 3123

Aquinas College http://www.aquinas.vic.edu.au/web/index.cfm?pid=About.Facilities#arc

46 Great Ryrie St
Ringwood, Victoria, 3134

These are both very different in appearance but provide an interesting perspective on possibilities.

A renewed Handbury Library building would need to:

  • Cater for students from ELC to Year 5.
  • Cater for individuals, as well as potentially classes of up to 25 students in size. A re-envisioned programme may allow for simultaneous classes with two class teachers and one teacher-librarian functioning in the same space.
  • Allow line of sight supervision from a lockable office
  • Provide flexible spaces for most of the building
  • Be fully cabled to allow the best power and technology solutions for the time
  • Support learning in all its manifestations as well as streamline work flow for those functioning within the spaces.

Space requirements:

Large spaces:

  • With seating and tables to suit whole classes of up to 25 students (formal) engaged in class type activities and need the same provision as classrooms, but with added access to shared resources that single classrooms cannot accommodate
  • With comfortable furniture adaptable to whole class silent sustained reading, and individual leisure reading at recess and lunchtime
  • Equipped as a “maker space” fitted out with tables large enough to construct robotics and the like and fitted out with storage to contain the products and parts required.  This cloud be done in the main body of the library if lockable storage solutions were provided
  • A number of high end desk top computers (assuming all students have an individual device of some sort in their hands) for reasons outlined above. There would be less demand for these at the Junior Campus.

Medium space:

  • Office space for Library services (requiring neat and tidy storage, enabling workflow, with reachable sections for different types of resources). This needs to allow for collaborative meetings between teacher-librarian and teachers, either within the office or in a separate meeting room.
  • An AV/ recording space sound proof for  podcasting, vodcasting, and film production

See: Learning for the future: developing information services in schools (Second edition) Australian School Library Association and Australian Library and Information Association, 2001 This publication provides a detailed outline of space requirements for traditional library type activities on page 45:

        Enrolment 101-200 (Junior Campus) 156 square metres minimum

This is further broken down into size allocations for various uses.

I can provide further details and information if that would be helpful.

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