MISD 21st Century Librarians' Cadre

This is a multimedia diary of the cadre's tours of exemplary libraries and our conversations with the professionals that have made innovations in structure and design, technology, programming, and/or management. Our goal is to gain information and advice on redesigning our libraries for the 21st century both in community and global spheres. By directly observing best practices in library science, we will be able to discern what ideally fits our own district.

Tour of Biblioteca Las Americas, STISD (Mercedes, TX) on October 3, 2014

Our first tour was of an amazing library which MedHigh and SciTech campuses share. It earned the honor of 2006 National School Library Media Program of the Year - Single School Category as well as 2012 National School Library Media Program of the Year - District Category. In our conversations with Lucy Hansen, Lead Librarian, as well as her fellow librarians Sara Reibman and Ann Vickman, we gleaned a wonderful amount of information on the management, design, and evolution of a 21st Century Library.

Tour of Library at South Texas College, Pecan Campus (McAllen, TX) on October 10, 2014

We combined our October department meeting with a tour of STC's main library. As luck would have it, they were installing and testing out some 21st century furniture on that very day. The different pieces had one or more of the following specifications: 1)  device-ready; 2) moveable; 3) collapsible; 4) ergonomic; 5) sound-proof or sound-reducing.

Tour of Success High School, Round Rock ISD (Round Rock, TX) on October 27, 2014

The first campus we visited was their alternate high school for students who need a different environment in which to catch up on their schoolwork or move at their own pace (similar to our Options High School). Their school opened this August and includes a child-care center for both students and district employees. Their library was the smallest among the high schools but the campus only serves about 350 students (and there is a little room with children's books - aw). This campus was paid for with rainy-day funds, not through the recent bond.

Tour of Round Rock High School, (Round Rock, Texas) on October 27, 2014

Round Rock High was one of the oldest secondary campuses. It's library was closed by the time we got there so we could not talk to a librarian, but we were still able to tour. Its attributes included a lecture hall, small conference rooms, and a utility room for technology storage and repair.

Tour of Elsa England Elementary School (Round Rock ISD) on October 28, 2014

EEES was a new campus. It had a separate office/work center for the ITS (Instructional Technology Specialist) that is assigned to that campus. It was large enough to have multiple classes on either side of the library doing research, reading, or listening to stories or lessons.

Tour of Great Oaks Elementary (Round Rock ISD) on October 28, 2014

Great Oaks was an older campus. It still had a library that was large enough to change its design with the times, as seen in its media area.

Tour of Walsh Middle School (Round Rock ISD) on October 28, 2014

Walsh is one of the newer middle schools and is an IB campus. It had a large L-shaped library that had multiple seating areas and comfortable furniture. The school had well over 1000 students and had been rapidly increasing in numbers over the last few years.

Tour of Cedar Ridge High School (Round Rock ISD) on October 28, 2014

Cedar Ridge HS was a newer campus whose planners made an unusual decision in the design of the library. As the high school was divided into pods (i.e. engineering, science, humanities), large sections of the intended library design were removed and smaller "mini-libraries" were installed in rooms located in each of the four wings. If a student comes to the library to check out a Nonfiction book in the 500 section, for example, that item is located in the Science wing. This explains the smaller size of the main library, since it is missing four sections of books and other resources. Librarians have to go to the different wings (or send student library aids) to fetch materials.

The attributes to this library were a media room, separate areas for computer instruction and traditional seating, and interactive smartboards for teaching.