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District Unveils Berner, High School Library Upgrades
To provide students with modern and comfortable spaces for research and collaboration, the district recently completed renovations of the library media centers at Massapequa High School and Berner Middle School.
The upgrades were funded by the voter-approved 2014 facilities bond and 2016 capital reserve fund.
Gone from both libraries are the large wooden tables and chairs, replaced with lightweight furniture that can easily be moved to accommodate different needs. Other upgrades in both facilities include new floor tiles, carpeting, paint, bookshelves and circulation desks.
Cushioned blue chairs in the Berner library, with rotating tables that can provide a surface for a notebook or Chromebook, are set up in groups of four to encourage cooperative work. A classroom area includes two interactive televisions. Library media specialists Laurie Martucci-Walsh and Julie Rogers have recently been using the space for orientation for sixth-graders, in which they review the resources the library has to offer and also discuss research skills and Internet safety.
English Language Arts and Library Media Curriculum Associate Tina Farrell said that when students move from elementary to middle school, library is no longer part of their regular schedule. Instead, it is on them reach out and use the resources available when the library is open before and after school and during lunch periods. That is why, she said, it is important to have comfortable spaces that meet the needs of 21st century learners.
“It's a welcoming place for our students,” added Principal Jason Esposito. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the upgrades to the library. The open and contemporary design is very inviting.”
The high school library includes tables of different sizes and shapes, including ones with built-in charging stations for Chromebooks and smartphones. Technology upgrades include improved wireless connectivity and six interactive touchscreen televisions. There are two counters with desktop computers and printers, and an online sign-in for students using the barcodes on their student IDs.
Library media specialist Lynn Reynolds said that the improved lighting and soft seating enhances the newly designed reading and study spaces. Separate, adjacent rooms provide spaces for classes to meet, which will soon bear the names of noted authors. The dark blue walls are covered in artwork created by former Massapequa students.
Fellow library media specialist Jill O’Connor described the upgraded space as “exciting, modern and highly functional.” Senior Rachelle Casement added that it has the feel of a college library.
“It’s a wonderful space where students can come and explore and learn,” said Superintendent Lucille Iconis. “It’s a melding of tradition and the future.”