News and observations from the LMC

……….Hello all, now that the curse of the giants seems to have passed (Pats fans will know what I’m talking about) allow me to share some news/information with you. If you’re a regular user of the library, you might have noticed some changes in the place over the last month or so. We have realigned the computers and therefore, changed the way we assign Computer Labs 1 and 2.

……….This makes a difference in how we book classes for LMC visits, so I feel it’s important for you to know about it. Below you will find a schematic of the LMC to help orient you to our general layout. For new teachers, this will be helpful in knowing how to direct your classes during visits and for research; for veteran teachers, this will hopefully serve as a reminder of all the resources available for both you and your students.

LMC layout

……….As you can see, the HHS Library Media Center (LMC) includes not just a vast collection of printed resources (19,327 books) but also 2+ computer labs (49 computers), 3 small classrooms, the MCAS Tutoring Room, the Internship Office and the library offices. We are a large, welcoming space for multiple classes at any one time, and we encourage you to visit us and use our many resources.

……….Teachers who wish to sign up to use the computers need to book with us at our circulation desk. We work on a first come, first serve basis, which means that if you have a class with 30 students, we will reserve Lab 1 (with 20 stations) and 10 computers from Lab 2 for your class. That means that the next teacher will only have 14 – 19 computers available (if the VHS computers are not being used). I am hoping to get more computers into the library, so that we can accommodate two classes of 30 students, but for now, we will work with what we’ve got.

……….Also, note that we have two (2) printers in the LMC and they are labeled as LIB-CIRC (color copier by the circulation desk) and LIB-LAB (black and white copier at the corner of LAB 2). These two machines get a lot of work in the mornings before first period, as students rush to print out papers and projects, so it’s best to avoid making multiple copies there just before school.

……….Please feel free to call us at extension 1143 with any questions or feedback you might have.

Next, a few quick observations:

  • We have free newspapers, but no one is taking them. We get 10 FREE copies of the E and the Wall Street Journal (a $3 newspaper) and we have leftovers all the time. (In fact, I’ve saved so many copies, that I’m hoping someone will start a paper mache project or a fish business). I understand that most people get their “news” online nowadays, but as an avid newspaper reader since my youth, I can’t help but lament the death of such an important industry. Some people will point out that going digital is just a transformation of the delivery of the Eagle-Tribune news, and not its death, but I still feel like we’re losing something important.
  • We seem to be busier than ever, but no one is reading. This observation is connected with the first, of course, but it also stands on its own. We see a great number of students throughout the day, and too few spend their time reading anything of significance. Their digital connections have really invaded what used to be free time spent reading. Instead of spending a half hour quietly engaged in a mental exercise that would expose them to vocabulary they need to grow mentally, I see too many students playing games, texting or even streaming television shows during their “study” period. We allowed personal electronic devices into our schools under the naive assumption that they would be used for “educational” purposes only … but we were cutting a deal with teenagers, remember?
  • The people that we see daily in the LMC have got to be the happiest, zaniest, most driven, best people in the building. Just about everyone that’s a regular – from the students who wander in during lunch and ask if they can do their homework, to the building crew who rearranges the furniture for meetings and presentations, to the teachers who also make their home in the LMC, to the many classes that visit daily, to the security guards who wander in for a quick breather, to the seemingly endless kids who hang around the circulation desk and are willing to talk to a fifty-something librarian, and his sixtyish assistant (You see that Babs?) – they all seem to share my belief that the library is a special place. That sometimes makes Mondays a little bit more bearable.

……….Thank you for stopping by and I hope you found something useful.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2015. All rights reserved.

About htwilson

born in brooklyn, raised in queens, massachusetts, that's where I be.
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