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Learning Commons Continues to Evolve

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The current seniors are the last grade to remember The Learning Commons as an old library that was outdated. After freshman year for the class of 2018, the library began to get completely redone.

The underclassmen never got to experience the old library but they are nonetheless thankful for the new space.  Junior Ashley Kenneally says “Coming into high school it was a nice place to be able to study and relax. There are lots of comfy seats, laptops available which is the best thing, and there is even coffee. I am so happy we have a place like this in our school.”

Senior Julianna Spina says “I like how it’s a much more open layout because freshman year there was an area stuffed in the corner of rows of old computers and then a separate seating area for studying.”

Some of the new look of the LC was funded by a donation by Arthur Acquaviva, a former VHS librarian who left money in his will to be used in the library. “Furniture helps make a place,” says Ms. Mayo, the person who has been in charge of the evolution of the Learning Commons.   “Students feel good when they see a place that is taken care of and then they take care of it also.”

“The culture of the Learning Commons has changed so much,” she says.  It used to be a place where kids hung out and it was not very academic.” The biggest challenge she said she faced was how to make it more academic, but not overly restrictive. She wants students to make the space what they want and need. “They can volunteer and make things that work for them,” she says.  “There is so much left for the future of the Learning Commons.”

One big project Ms. Mayo is working on now is the Makerspace. She is in the process of transforming it into a student studio. “There is a huge group of kids who love to make their own music and even some teachers.” Ms. Mayo wants this to be a place where students can show off their talents.  

Over the years another thing has changed. The stacks of old, books that mostly say uncheckout for years has been replaced by a smaller set of more contemporary books with higher student appeal.  

Ms. Mayo wants to change the way students see librarians;  she’s “not just here to check out books,” she says.  She herself was an English teacher longer than she has been a librarian.  She wants students to know she is always available if they need help with English or just have questions and that she is always open to suggestions about how the LC can continue to evolve in ways that benefit them.

 

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Learning Commons Continues to Evolve