Back-to-school: Traditional library no more. Check out Bloomfield High School’s media center

It’s no surprise students are using computers more these days, but at Bloomfield High School, every student has a Chromebook. So, they are changing their traditional library into a media center -- a trend more school districts are following.

News 12 Staff

Sep 7, 2022, 9:45 AM

Updated 621 days ago

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It’s no surprise students are using computers more these days, but at Bloomfield High School, every student has a Chromebook. So, they are changing their traditional library into a media center -- a trend more school districts are following.
“The days of the traditional shushing from the librarian are kind of over,” says Principal Chris Jennings.
Jennings says the school has been slowly changing to a media center for about five years. It's complete with sofas, high top tables, comfy chairs and just some books.
“We took down rows and rows of traditional tall, archived bookshelves and it hampered the space that kids could use,” says Jennings.
You'll still be able to grab your favorite book from the shelf, but this time -- you'll be able to sit down and lounge.
“I wanted open, I wanted airy,” says Librarian Karah Iansito. “Primarily, I wanted welcoming, and I want you to walk in and be left with the impression that I want to go back.”
The school library isn't completely phased out, but many schools across New Jersey are making the transition.
“With the transition from the traditional library to the media center, we did not see any layoffs of staff,” says Jennings. “Quite the contrary, we've added staff.”
But librarians still exist, just with a different name.
“Librarian, media specialist I totally use them interchangeably,” says Iansito. “Listen when I was growing up a lot of my heroes were librarians. So, to use media specialist, it's like I'm not honoring that somehow. So, I like that word librarian so either one is great by me as long as people are using the space.”
Now it looks like a bookstore, and that's the goal -- to make it more about the space for students to use.


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