The Role of Libraries in the Digital Age

I have been thinking a lot recently about libraries and their place in schools. Due to so much information being available on line, either through web sites or ebooks, the focus of libraries is changing from a place to find information and quiet research, to something else. I do think a section of a library should be for quiet study, but ideally, it would be isolated from the center of the library and not be the entire library. An article about the school library in Monticello High School, in Chartlottesville, Virginia, gives one example of where libraries are moving towards.

Librarian Jane Ackroyd, “People no longer have to come to a library to get information,” she says, “so the library has to get people coming in for different reasons. Students need somewhere to socialize, create things and collaborate.”

The library now is called ¨The Learning Commons¨and logged more than 33,000 visits outside of class time in a school of just over 1,000 students. They have a Garage Band (music authorship software) lab, a ¨Hacker Space¨with a 3-D printer, microscope, old tech equipment, etc. Glass walls separate spaces but allow people to see what is happening throughout the library. They also have student reading lounges, collaboration tables, etc.

The link to the article is here.

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