On 6/3/09 I met with Mrs. Dee Lopez, librarian at Liberty Middle School in Pharr, TX. This school was a huge change from Ramirez Elementary. Liberty has only been open about seven years. It is state of the art in many ways. It services 1,502 students and has 16,221 books and 1,000AV items. As I walked into the library, I immediately noticed the theft prevention devices at the door. I think this is essential for a secondary library. The circulation desk greets you next. I really like that it is spacious enough to accommodate three people but not so big that it takes up too much room. It has a drop box right as you enter.
Right in front of the circulation desk there is a computer station with 16 student computers for reference and testing and in separate kiosks there are two computers dedicated for OPAC usage.
There are also two leisure areas on either side of the computer area with couches. In the far corners of the library there are quiet areas for independent study. I really like the shelving in the library. Sections of shelving fan out around the library to feature particular areas/ genres. On top of the shelves, there are neat displays of books by series or topic. In the center of the library there are two separate class areas. Each section has eight tables with four chairs each.
This library has two librarians and one aide. This type of seating allows the library accommodate two classes at a time if desired. Each librarian has a private office. In addition, there is a large AV room, where VHS, DVD, Audiobooks and checkout equipment are stored. There is also a workroom, with a copier, tables, refrigerator, and restroom.
It was interesting for me to see the difference between elementary and secondary libraries. I really like the layout and features of this library. My only concern is I don't see much that looks "geared for teenagers." Since the goal should be to get teens to love coming to the library, it should have some finishing touches such as posters, art, decoration, student work, that teens would enjoy.
Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson
6 years ago