Willow Glen High School li­brary re­vamped for 21st-cen­tury tech

The Mercury News - - Lo­cal News - By Ju­lia Baum jbaum@ba­yare­anews­group.com

Willow Glen High School is giv­ing its 67-year-old li­brary a facelift that will in­cor­po­rate 21st-cen­tury tech­nol­ogy and a re­source cen­ter for stu­dents think­ing about go­ing to col­lege.

Ren­o­va­tions started near the end of school in June and will also in­clude new floor­ing, fur­ni­ture, shelv­ing, au­dio-vis­ual equipment and a print­ing cen­ter.

“The idea is to com­pletely trans­form from an old-fash­ioned li­brary with books and not talk­ing to a place like a col­lege stu­dent union,” school prin­ci­pal Randy Sch­midt said. “We’re tak­ing out gi­ant book stacks and re­plac­ing them with low shelves so the whole place is open and you can see across the place.

“We’re try­ing to make it a place that peo­ple can hang out, get the in­for­ma­tion that they want.”

Stu­dents will be al­lowed to eat snacks and sip hot choco­late in­side while study­ing.

Li­brar­ian Lisa Yes­son said li­braries have been evolv­ing into more col­lab­o­ra­tive work spaces in re­cent times and she’s ex­cited to help push Willow Glen in that direc­tion. Plenty of stu­dents still use the li­brary, Yes­son said, but the number can vary from day to day, es­pe­cially for those with their own gad­gets.

“(The stu­dents) do so much on their own from their com­put­ers and lap­tops and that’s one of the things we’re look­ing for­ward to with the re­model: serv­ing more of our stu­dent population dur­ing the day so we see more kids, a broader range of kids,” Yes­son said.

“I’m ex­cited to work more closely with the col­lege ca­reer cen­ter just in terms of sup­port­ing stu­dent goals … and also hav­ing some of the equipment, es­pe­cially around com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and do­ing out­reach to kids in terms of ac­tiv­i­ties, re­sources, things they may have not even known about.”

New teach­ing and meet­ing ar­eas will ac­com­mo­date both classes and guest speak­ers. Four new screen mon­i­tors dis­play­ing school an­nounce­ments and video clips can also be used by stu­dents and teach­ers to work on in­di­vid­ual or group projects.

All of the new tech­nol­ogy in­side the li­brary will be wire­less, in­clud­ing the speak­ers, ac­cord­ing to Sch­midt. Sev­eral new of­fice ar­eas be­ing added to house the new Col­lege and Ca­reer Cen­ter will have floor-to­ceil­ing win­dows, en­hanc­ing the li­brary’s new sense of open space.

The school’s his­tory and ac­com­plish­ments will be on dis­play in­side the li­brary, in­clud­ing copies of old year­books, awards from decades past, and cur­rent stu­dent projects such as their cre­ative art­work.

Money for the ap­prox­i­mately $600,000 re­model comes from Mea­sure H funds and the Gene and Mickey Long Foun­da­tion, named af­ter two for­mer Willow Glen prin­ci­pals who were also mar­ried and cre­ated the fund to sup­port the school af­ter their deaths. The li­brary, of­fi­cially named the Gene and Mickey Long Me­dia Cen­ter, was also named in their honor.

Con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be finished early next month.


Wil­low Glen High School’s 67-year-old li­brary is un­der­go­ing a $600,000ren­o­va­tion.

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