Reference Desk Observation – The Layout

Please note that the following Reference Desk Observation blogs reference a real school and real LMS, but all names have been changed to respect the privacy of teachers and students involved. This purpose of these entries is to show observations and should not be taken as a critical assesment of the school, district, or library.

The X Middle School Media Center is probably the most colorful library I have ever seen. The doors open directly into the middle of the room where the circulation desk sits, allowing the librarian to see the entire library. On the far right hand side, they are equipped with two computer labs – a set of 30 Macs that can be used for classroom instruction (they even have a projector set up so that the teacher can easily show students what to do as they sit at their own computers). Another 24 PC’s are available and can be used for both teacher-guided instruction as well as individually by students.

Adjacent to the circulation desk, there are 3 large tables that can be used for study hall, group projects, and a general sitting area. Next to this there is a teachers’ corner complete with a shelf of professional materials and periodicals.

Moving along to the left-hand side of the room, a number of cubbies are set up as the quiet area, followed by the stacks themselves.

Nearly every wall is decorated with student artwork, promotional posters with celebrities suggesting to read, the daily class schedule and a birthday wall where each month, student and staff birthdays are displayed.

There are brightly colored, hanging signs not only above each section in the stacks but above each section of the library to clearly mark everything from “computer lab” to “printer” to “quiet area.”

The stacks are middle-school friendly and are only about 4 feet high so that the students can reach the top and the librarian can see over them at all times. All of the furniture is light to carry and very kid-friendly.

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