By LILIAN MOHR
The Redlands East Valley High School library is in the midst of a remodel. The head librarian, Korrie Krohne is leading the charge.
The school was built in 1997 and when the library was originally put in, it was considered high-tech because there were computers that were open for student use when the library was open.
3D rendering of the plans for the library remodel. This will be the work spaces.
Over the years there have been several additions to the library’s collection of not only books, but computers and laptops as well; currently there are 36 desktops and 36 chromebooks for the students.
In the modern learning environment that REV has adapted into over the years since its original creation, it is becoming glaringly obvious that the library has to adapt as well.
Krohne works in the library every day and has seen that there is a problem with this current setup because the “desktop computers make it difficult for students to work collaboratively.”
She said that “the way that access to information works has changed in the more than 20 years since the school has opened.”
“When we opened, the primary way people researched was through the use of books. That has changed drastically due to the development of the internet and use of technology.”
Now that the issues of outdated styles of providing information have been addressed, Krohne discussed the changes that are going to be made to modernize the library.
Krohne states “we will not get rid of books, but the kinds of books we keep will reflect the kinds of uses that are needed, and will reflect the use of technology, including online databases which all students have access to for research”.
3D rendering of the plans for the library remodel. This will be the collaborative work space.
The remodel of the layout of the library will involve changes to the way the books are displayed.
“The new shelving will be lower in height, sectional, and on wheels so that it can be shifted out of the way if more space is needed” Krohne says.
Another unique addition to the space will be a maker space. This type of creative environment has never officially been created on the REV campus. The We Are Teachers organization defines it as “a room that contains tools and components, allowing people to enter with an idea and leave with a complete project. The best part is that makerspaces are communal. The goal is to work together to learn, collaborate, and share. Most importantly, makerspaces allow us to explore, create new things, or improve things that already exist”.
Krohne’s hopes that “eventually, this space will be filled with tools, sewing machines, a 3D printer, 3D scanner, and all sorts of really cool things that can be used to support idea development and creation. Additionally, this will house video cameras and a greenscreen for use with classroom projects.”
3D rendering of the plans for the library remodel. This will be where the large screens and classroom spaces are.
A new “collaboration station” will also be added to the space, where “sectional type furniture grouped around 75 inch touch screen computers so that groups can collaborate and see their project on the large screen” Krohne says.
Some traditional aspects of the library will remain but with modernizations such as lounge areas for studying and reading.
There will also be two new classroom areas with more lightweight desks that can be customized to what the teacher needs.
As far as modernizations with technology Krohne says that “there will be 7 to 8 of the 75 inch touch screen computers” and “most of the desktop computers will be removed and be replaced with laptop computers”.
Krohne discuss how students will be directly involved with the project as she states that “large scale photo murals that will hopefully be student-created in the upper “heat wells” of the library”.
Students who frequently use the library may be concerned with the timeline of this expansive project and how it will affect the student’s access to the library.
Krohne addresses these concerns and states that “the first change will occur over spring break. We are getting new flooring (carpet and linoleum) that reflect school colors. So everything in the new remodel will be red, black, and grey.”
“Currently, the furniture is “out to bid”–which means that different companies will get a chance to give us quotes and then the best deal will be selected. Once that has happened, it should take 6 weeks or so for the furniture to be “built” for us. I have been told by the district office head of Instructional Technology, Jamie Cortz, that we may possibly see some of the new furniture as soon as the end of April or beginning of May.”
She says that because of the remodel “there will be some library closure”.
From March 2 to 13 the library will be closed as the books will be packed up and temporarily relocated. Then the demolition of existing shelving will commence that second week. New floors will be put in over spring break.
As more minor construction continues the library will hopefully not have to close for more than a day or so throughout the process.
News of this remodel is slowly beginning to spread to the student body.
Junior, Xiomara Flores states that “I didn’t even know that the library was being remodeled until now. That’s really cool because I haven’t really seen as many changes to the library since I got to REV as a freshman as I think it deserves. I’m excited to get to use the space next year and see if my teachers take advantage of the new teaching opportunities.”