•  Envisioning the 21st Century Media Center                                               

    In an age of iPads, Kindles, and other wireless devices, it’s no surprise that students today love media centers. They know that today’s library media center is so much more than books! For earlier generations, the library had an aura of scholarship and learning; students had to go there to access information resources such as encyclopedias, microfiche, and vertical files. Today, so much information is digital and resources are available anytime and anywhere. So what does the physical space have to offer?

    Today’s students use the media center for a variety of reasons including
    • access to a professional information expert (Media Specialist) who can help tailor research topics and guide students toward quality, age-appropriate resources
    • collaborating on group work
    • accessing a variety of resources
    • a safe, non-distracting place to explore
    • a place to use a BYOT device and/or use school computing resources
    • a warm, inviting atmosphere
    • a place where information is discovered, created, and shared


    While information can be obtained from virtually anywhere, the media center remains the only central location where new technologies can be combined with traditional information sources to support learning. In order for the media center is to continue its pivotal role in the learning experience, it is evolving to meet changing pedagogies and learning modes, and the ever-changing needs of students and teachers.

    Mediascape at Lambert HS The 21st century media center nurtures collaboration and hands-on learning. Many older media centers were designed and built for obtaining books and lending them to students or teachers. The 21st Century media center supports student collaboration and group work – the dominant instruction and learning style today. Students need study space, support for BYOT, content-creation tools, and a flexible environment that can be reconfigured on the fly to meet the needs at that moment. A well-designed, professionally staffed library media center meets those needs and more.
    In the spring of 2011, Technology Services partnered with Dekalb Office to create a prototype for future media centers. The prototype was completed at Lambert High School. A goal of this project was to envision media centers for use in the 21st century where paper-based resources are not the predominant tool in a media center. Following that work, schools from around the system (as well as many visitors from outside the district) were invited to visit Lambert’s Media Center to see the new furniture and understand the philosophical changes that have been implemented. Many schools have embraced this vision and as monies allow are working to create new learning spaces in their media centers.
    The components of this new template include:
    • Soft seating for small group collaboration and meeting
    • Seating which may be reconfigured easily for a variety of functions
    • “Café” style seating
    • Collaboration space which supports BYOT
    • Define “rooms” within the space allowing for multiple activities to take place simultaneously



Last Modified on June 8, 2018