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