Library Advances Into The Future

Posted on March 15, 2012

0


News | Nathan Kosmin

A screenshot of the new library mobile site.

As STHS settles into the spring semester, the library is looking to make several changes to improve accessibility to technology and introduce a wealth of new opportunities for students. Chief among the major developments in the pipeline is the plans for the library’s new multimedia lab. Thanks to a generous  grant, the library is purchasing several computers which will be loaded with media production software and made available for student use. According to librarian Dr. Valenza, “the idea is to have some really good-quality machines for multimedia productions and other kinds of creative projects.”
Planning for the media lab began during the summer and continued into the start of the school year, with Dr. Valenza leading planning meetings with students, administrators, and staff. The current plan is to purchase several iMac workstations, which will be equipped with multimedia creation software such as photo editors, video editors, and graphics creation programs. The computers will be accompanied by hardware including drawing tablets and an interactive whiteboard. Dr. Valenza welcomes suggestions from students or staff regarding free or inexpensive software to load on the desktop machines. The media lab will be housed in the alcove currently housing reference books. Dr. Valenza expects the lab to be ready to launch sooner rather than later: “We’ve got the furniture selected; it’s all ready to go…I’m hoping that next month [March], we can get it set up.”
Aside from the hardware, the grant will allow the physical space to undergo renovation.  A new, expanded counter top will be serve as not only a collaborative space, but also a charging station for personal laptops and other mobile devices.  Additionally, cafe style seating will create a new, more intimate space for groups to meet.  As the media lab continues to take form, student volunteers are needed to help manage the space, and anyone interested should contact the library staff.
Another recent development for the library has been the launch of the mobile STHS Library website. Although the site is still in development, it is accessible to the public on the Web. Located at sdst.libguides.com/mobile/1552/, the site features many of the search tools and database services provided by the ordinary version of the library webpage, but in a format that is more friendly to Web browsers on mobile devices like cell phones or tablet computers. The website provides a full list of the school’s databases alongside a wealth of creation tools, study tools, and informational resources, allowing students and teachers to access many of the features of the library’s award-winning website from a mobile device.
Despite the fact that both the media lab and the mobile site are nearing completion, Dr. Valenza welcomes and encourages input on both projects. In particular demand are software and hardware suggestions for the media lab and Web development help for the mobile site. Students who wish to provide their input for either project should contact Dr. Valenza.

Advertisements
Posted in: News