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The Media Center Wants You…To Help Make It the Best It Can Be

The Media Center Wants You...To Help Make It the Best It Can Be
Charlotte Bath

The RHS Media Center has something for everyone. Featuring books, bean bags, printers, charging stations and more, it is regularly frequented by most students. This year, a group of RHS teachers created a Professional Learning Community (PLC) tasked with making the Media Center even more useful to students than it already is.  

 The Media Center PLC group is focused on improving student usage of the educational resources that are available to them at the high school. “Our goal is to get kids to check out more books; we’re trying to figure out how to get more kids to utilize the library,” said Victoria Testa, the English teacher leading the charge in these efforts. Testa has played an essential role in collecting student feedback and working to turn the Media Center into a better utilized resource. 

 Her most successful effort to date has been the addition of a “blind book dates” display in the Media Center, based on a viral TikTok video, where students select a blind book to read based only on the provided genre and description. The book itself is kept under wraps until the student brings it home, unwraps it and reads it.

Testa noted that with the success of blind book dates, there is always a search for more books to feature. To this end, QR codes were placed all around the school that allow students to easily access a Microsoft Form, on which they can submit the names of their favorite titles to feature, so that the books can become someone else’s favorite, too. Teachers like Testa and Cullis said they’d be happy to discuss any and all recommendations that would increase student interest. They also hope to receive more book recommendations before the year ends. 

 Testa noted that many of the books included in the blind dates were purchased this year, based on student requests. “So far, a large majority of these books have been young adult romance or fantasy,” she said. As of press time, Testa said that requests were still being accepted.

Those working on the Media Center PLC would also like to implement a self-checkout station for books, since they must currently be checked out through teachers like Testa or Cullis. The hope is that self-checkout would greatly reduce the hassle involved in taking out books and encourage more students to do so.  

However, Testa noted that, in order for improvements like this to be implemented in the future, there must be more student engagement with the current Media Center. This is where the members of the RHS community come in: “Please check out books,” Testa urged. “How can we encourage you to read books? We are open to suggestions.”

As for other Media Center improvements, students have expressed an interest in charging stations and desktop computers, suggesting that the addition of more technologic resources could also be beneficial. Other students have requested the ability to check out boardgames for home use or have proposed implementing methods of checking out cameras and microphones for taking photos or recording podcasts. Other students have suggested that adding art supplies, magazines or activity books could be a draw for students.  

Overall, while the Media Center has been in a transitional period this year, it still needs to be used and supported more in its current state, in order to fully become the best resource it can be for students down the road.

Hopefully, this teamwork between students and teachers will allow the Media Center to grow into the best resource it can be, providing many things of interest to students. If students have any thoughts on how to help achieve this, then now is the time to speak up.

“Student “Blind Book” Recommendation Links:

Blind Book Date Request Form: https://forms.office.com/r/48XUpgucCW 

Blind Book Purchase Request Form: https://forms.office.com/r/QBnfurW5cd

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