Heard Elementary Academy Media Center Facilities Plan Prepared by: Kelly Shea October 20, 2008 FRIT 7132 – Dr. Judi Repman
Heard Elementary is a Title 1 prek-5 school and is situated on approximately 8 acres of land.
Part of the Chatham County magnet school program
Located in a residential neighborhood
Serves 680 students
Sixth largest in population in district of 31 elementary schools
Situated on approximately 8 acres of land
Built in 1957
Title 1 as well as Advanced Learning classrooms
School Profile (continued)
An official Core Knowledge school
Offers a computer lab and staffed science lab
140 computers in school, 30 of which are in the computer lab
Two buildings contain a total of 10 classrooms, and 12 portable units contain 24 classrooms.
Employs 71 full-time faculty members and two administrators (39 homeroom, 15 paraprofessionals, 5 GEP, 7 resource, and 5 SPED)
To ignite a passion for learning and teaching at high levels
From school to the world: All students prepared for productive futures
Media Center Profile
Located in administration building across from office
Media Center square footage – 1350
Media Specialist’s office - 105 square feet
Main Data Frame room - 130 square feet
Contains: 11,218 books
439 reference books
1172 professional books
One full-time media specialist and one full-time media clerk
One Promethean board/projector presentations
View of Media Center The media center is to the right. This open area is referred to as the loge. The administration/front office building is also to the right. The media center from the front of the school. The loge is just past the tree.
Overview of the Media Center The primary concern regarding the Heard Media Center is its size in relation to the population of the school. The public area of the media center is 55’ x 24 ½’ in size. The media specialist’s office is a very small 10 ½’ x 10’ room. There is also a main data frame room which is 10 ½’ x 12 ½’. The school was originally built to accommodate approximately 200 students. The gradual addition of portable classrooms resulted in a current 680-student population, which increases every year. The media specialist is very limited in what can be done to accommodate materials/technology for the school. New shelving units were purchased in the last year, but due to space, the units are tall in order to accommodate the book inventory. This results in students not able to reach higher shelves. The primary furniture is three tables with chairs around them. This is the only student reading space, and is rarely used for that purpose.
Current Floor Plan of Media Center
Overview of the Media Center (continued) There is an entry at either end, only one of which is used regularly by students. The other is normally kept locked. Most of the unused technology items, such as overhead projectors, vcr/dvd players, laptops, etc. are stored in the media center, adding to the space issue. The media center purchased and installed a Promethean board this year. This has been a beneficial added feature and is often utilized during faculty meetings as well as other meetings. There are six student workstations, two circulation stations, one designated for the media specialist, and one laptop in the media specialist’s office. A multimedia computer on a cart is used for the news show and other production tasks. The media center also houses one of five school-wide network printers.
This is the entryway at the main entrance. The circulation desk is straight ahead. The front office and principal’s office is directly across the hall.
Here are two views of the entry and media clerk’s end of the desk. The room with a door and window is the media specialist’s office. Chapter fiction books are the first books students come to upon entry (below). Book drop is above right in the front of the media clerk’s desk. This was an added feature this year. Previously students dropped books off on desk. This new system has worked very nicely.
This is the view from media clerk’s desk. The entrance is to the right. The chapter fiction section is in the forefront, easy fiction books in the mid-section, followed by non-fiction in the back section. The book drop is just below the computer on the left.
This is the area behind the circulation desk. The media specialist’s primary working area is to the left, and the media clerk uses the right end of the desk.
This view is the circulation desk from the front. The shelves behind it contain teacher reference materials.
Teachers’ Professional Library (Located behind circulation desk. The audio collection is also kept here on lower right shelves)
Blue bins on top of shelves (left) contain popular series or authors which enables students to easily and quickly find the book they are looking for. Popular series, such as Magic Tree House (right), are shelved together for easy access.
The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. They are also color-coded to represent various book levels. This helps students identify books that are in their ZPD. Until last year the books were put together by color codes only, which the new media specialist felt was made too simple for the students. She felt strongly that they should be able to alphabetize.
This is a view of the circulation desk, fiction and non-fiction (partial) sections from the rear of media center. The media specialist’s office is behind the circulation desk with the window.
This is the non-fiction section, reading/meeting area, rear door, and Promethean board. The door is the second entry, which is normally locked.
This is a view of the back wall of the media center. The Promethean board/projector was a very nice addition this year. There are non-fiction books on either side. The green fabric is hung between shelves for the taping of weekly news broadcast.
Reference section. This area is just beyond the non-fiction section, and is on the wall with windows. Computer workstations are to the left. Multi-media computer(s) on cart with video camera used for news broadcast.
This is a view of the media specialist’s desk from student workstations. Teacher reference materials are visible on back wall behind the circulation desk.
Main Data Frame/Network Room This room also houses the video collection (as well as numerous other items. This is yet another example of too little space).
Media specialist’s office An extensive array of Core Knowledge resources are kept here (beginning behind chair on wall).
Core Knowledge Resources (in media specialists office)
Media Center Policies
No books will be checked out without personal library folder with bar code
Students who take AR tests must check with the staff before beginning a quiz.
Year-end report cards will be held for students who have lost or damaged books.
Food or drink of any kind is not allowed in the media center.
Students must have a library pass before they may enter the Media Center
Media Center hours are 8:30-4:00 for faculty and staff
Student media center hours are 9:15-3:15
Media Center operates on a flexible schedule for students and staff.
Books are checked out for a one-week period. Two books at a time may be checked out.
Lost/damaged books will incur fines and/or charges.
Students may not check out books if they have overdue books
Media Center Policies
Teachers have unlimited access to all materials in the Media Center during the school year for as long as the material or equipment is needed. All equipment and materials must be turned in at the end of the school year.
The poster machine and paper is available only for classroom materials.
Class scheduling must be done at least one day in advance
TV’s and VCR’s are permanently checked out to classes. None are available on a daily basis.
Overhead bulbs are provided and will be replaced by the media staff.
Teachers are to observe copyright law in the use of videotape or professional materials. See the media specialist for copyright guidelines.
Teachers are encouraged to plan with the media specialist for projects that involve student research so that materials can be obtained in advance for the students to use.
Teachers must stay with their class at all times.
Most are happy with the new book drop, but many suggested a drop just outside the door so that students can return books before/after hours.
Strong negative reaction to the student reading area. Most requested pillows and/or comfortable chairs. Some also thought lamps in a special reading area would be nice.
Most complained about the small, cramped size of the Media Center
Overall, they were content with the Media Center’s hours; however, most requested extended times in the afternoon.
About half stated that they have no problem finding a book. Others still miss the ease of simply looking for the section with their “colored dots.”
Most stated that they do not use the Media Center very often for research. Much of this is done by the teacher, who brings materials to the classroom from the library. Others stated that their research in the library is primarily done as a whole class with the teacher’s assistance.
Many were unfamiliar with the resources available to them in the Media Center
What do the students think?? ( Approximately 100 4 th /5 th grade students were surveyed)
What do the teachers think??
Media Center is too small and cramped
Computers are too close together – no workspace
Given the space, the computer workstations are arranged so that they are child-friendly and easily accessible. Much improved this year.
Everyone liked the new location of the drop-box
No closet space
All participants love the new shelving units. They are too tall (one complained that the windows are covered), but there is no where to go but up.
Only one teacher surveyed was in favor of a fixed schedule. All others support a flexible schedule.
Collaboration of teachers and media specialist:
Teachers - love the idea, but feel the media specialist is always very busy. Most do not utilize her as a planning resource. Several comments regarding helpful assistance from media clerk.
Administrator – “has to happen”
Media Specialist – she feels that the teachers are unaware of her knowledge and abilities to help them plan. She noted that time is always an issue with everyone involved.
(Several teachers, an administrator, and the media specialist were surveyed )
What do the teachers think?? (continued)
There is general agreement that the Media Center has undergone a very
positive transformation over the past year; however, the changes were very
limited due to lack of space
They would like to see a larger selection of non-fiction books
Too little storage/closet space
While the shelving units are tall, there was a comment that the media
specialist does an excellent job of utilizing that space well. She uses the
high shelves for resources/items that are not for student use.
General Impressions of the Media Center
The Media Center is the “hub” of the school and always appears busy and lively. The media specialist is busy most of the time with students and/or teachers. The Accelerated Reader Program is highly utilized school wide, with tracking of percentages as well as points and ZPD’s being equally stressed. In the past, the students simply worked for a point goal. This year we are strongly tracking average percent correct and enforcing ZPD’s. This has been difficult for the students to comprehend. Therefore, the media specialist and media clerk spend a great deal of time helping students choose appropriate books and ensuring that they are logging their tests to show that they are reading the books they are checking out.
With the upgrades of shelving and technology, the media center is greatly improved over the previous years. However, with the new technology resources came the need for storage space. There are no closets with the exception of the main data frame room, which currently houses the video collection.
While the media center provides an upbeat, happy atmosphere for the most part, there is no inviting, comfortable place for students to quietly read. There is also no place for an entire class to sit without using all of the main space of the center. The average time for a student to spend in the media center is 5-10 minutes – just long enough to find a book and leave.
Changes and Suggestions by Teachers
The computers need to be spaced and have workspace around them to provide
work space when researching
More open space as well as seating space at tables for faculty meetings and
maybe some casual seating for students and adults
Offer late hours from time to time (until about 6:00) so parents can come in with
their children to browse and check out books.
Drop box in the hall rather than right in front of the clerk’s desk where students
are in line to check out books
Establishment of a secured wireless network, as well as laptops to be used with
Network printers for all to use, not just the five we have in the buildings. There
needs to be a solution to the layout issue of the portables.
Using library helpers. Possibly 4 th and 5 th graders could have assigned times to
be in the library and help classes or individuals pick out their books. They could
also assist with putting books away, checking them in, and even delivering
requested books to teachers.
Changes and Suggestions by Teachers (continued)
Learning centers to be used for quick mini-lessons, offering credit or more
time in the media center
Rotate student work through the media center.
Have weather stations, aquariums, drawing, and music areas. Places where
students could relax and read, work, or create.
Video/multi-media production room for the creation of more videos.
A quiet area for teachers.
The media center should have longer hours, such as 8:30-4:00 for the early
and late students.
The media specialist should accompany students in the computer lab, if
necessary, to teach research skills
Stations for students to stand at to use the online catalog.
More books on iPods.
Recommendations for Changes to New Facility
The media center would be expanded 30’ in length and width. The loge area provides enough space for a 30’ extension while still having enough space to have a hallway to the outside. There is 30’ of grass area that could be expanded upon.
Hours of operation would be from 8:30-4:00, with late afternoon hours twice per marking period. Once every marking period there would be an evening “open house” for parents and children to come in and check out books, browse, and take tests.
A multi-media room would be added, as well as a group story center to accommodate whole classes.
Times would be created for volunteers to come in and read to or assist students in the library.
Photos of Area to be Used for Expansion These photos are of the loge. The wall below left is the current back wall of the media center. The photo to the right shows the front view. The media center is to the right.
This is the view of the media center from the front of the school. The loge is just past the tree beyond the media center. This area provides another 30’ of expansion area.
New Facility The new media center is 85’ x 54 ½’. This computes to 4,632 square feet. The addition boasts a multi-media production room, as well as a large storage closet. There is a leveled stage area for group reading, and throw pillows have been added for independent reading comfort. Comfortable chairs have been added to create an inviting atmosphere for silent reading. Computers and added work space has been added as well. The added space allows for more shelves. A presentation area is for meetings as well as class lessons. The book drop is now located just outside the first door.
Computer Workstations (Available at Brodart) Reading Chairs Available at School Outfitters $324.99 Computer Table Chairs Available at School Outfitters $46.99
Oak Library Table - (48" Diameter) $454.99 Upholstered American Series Straight Back Library Chair Starting at $199.99