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My district is in the mid-stages of planning a new K-5 year round school
and I am trying to insure that the LMC is workable and versatile and to
avoid pitfalls as much as possible.  I have searched the archives a bit and
not found much directly related to my question.

The current plan is that the library and computer lab are adjacent with a
door between the two.  Lab will accomodate only about 17 workstations as
the plans are now drawn.  There is a proposal to eliminate the wall,
opening lab up to the library to allow them to put in another bank of
computers.  This would encroach on library space, taking away shelving,
student seating and instructional space, but would result in a large area
which could be flexibly used. One variation of this would add another wall,
net result being reducing library space overall by about 1/3 and more than
doubling the lab space...this would be a fairly permanent arrangement with
little flexibility.  We may look into an accordion door type of plan but
haven't really pursued that as yet.

I expect that staffing will be a full time paraprofessional in the library,
a part time paraprofessional in the lab, either or both could have little
or no training to speak of.  There will be a tech support person available
but not on site.  As District Librarian, I will be involved but not there
full time, or anything even close to full time.  Teachers will expect to
have regular library time, with stories and check out, and will have
varying expectations for the lab and for flexible access to both areas for
research and projects.

My questions are for those of you who have lived with similar situations,
where the lab area is essentially open to and an integral part of the
library area.
1.  Do you find this, overall, a workable arrangement?  What about noise?
What about conflicting uses...such as when a class is doing research while
another class is hearing a story?  Are you able to schedule so conflicts
like this don't develop?
2.  Would the library aide end up being the computer aide as well?
3.  What about throwing out all preconceived ideas of library vs. computer
space and coming up with some radical new melding of the two?  I realize
this has probably been done countless times...I just need some direction to
find it.
4.  What would you advise to be on the lookout for, good, bad, whatever?

Any advice, suggestions or warnings you can offer will be gratefully
accepted.  I fear I am going to have to be the sole voice for maintaining
much of a library in this school and need as much support as I can muster.

Mary Helen Fischer, District Librarian
Buckeye Union School District
P. O. Box 547
Shingle Springs CA 95682
(530) 676-0164, ext. 236

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