Checking out the future

Media Center set to close for renovations


Jacob Perszyk

Media center assistant Nancy Becerra-Balbuena works at LMC front desk March 20. Park has plans to renovate the library once the school year ends.

Taylor Voigt

Park’s Media Center is going to be renovated along with other spaces such as the cafeteria over a period of 18 months. In order for these renovations to happen, the Media Center will not allow book checkout starting March 30, and will shut down for student use in June. 

Media Center specialist Alison Tsuchiya Theiler said that the renovations will bring a lot more rooms with specific uses that will be more connected to the main areas of the school.

“There’s going to be four small study rooms, a career center, a room for math or a math lab, maybe a writing lab and maybe a makerspace of some sort,” Tsuchiya Theiler said. “Then the Media Center will be linked to the cafeteria, and there’ll be a staircase from the cafeteria to the A2 hallway.”

According to senior Raelen Crisp, information regarding specifics of the renovations haven’t been made clear to students.

“The staff (might benefit) from more technology, maybe more storage, if that’s what they’re adding,” Crisp said. “We don’t really have an idea of what they’re going to do so it’s kind of hard to gauge what’s going to help and what’s not.”

Senior Reem Elbassal said that new things will be nice, but it’s more important for her to see an effect on how students use the space.

“It would be good to see stuff like nicer chairs, but I would mainly want to see the community we had last year,” Elbassal said. “We had more of a community feel in the library and now it feels like there’s nobody there.”

Crisp believes the temporary closing of the library will affect students the most.

“I see a lot of kids that go check out eight books at a time and they might not be able to do that anymore,” Crisp said. “It’s especially damaging because this is a free resource. In other libraries of course you can get books for free, but it can be difficult to commute, whereas you’re around the school library all the time as a student.”

Elbassal said she hopes that once the space is redone, more students than before will be allowed to come in.

“They should start letting people with open hours use the library, because I remember last year they let people with open hours come in and it was filled with people,” Elbassal said. “Now they don’t, and there’s usually just a few people using the library. Now that they’re doing renovations there will be even less people able to use the space.”

Despite the short-term drawbacks of the renovations, Tsuchiya Theiler said there will be an increase in motivation for students to use the library after renovations finish.

“Just having that different feel and vibe in here is going to benefit everybody,” Tsuchiya Theiler said. “Teachers, students and staff will be energized by this new space. Especially the physical space, having more space for students to collaborate or to work on things or meet in the small group rooms. The physical space allows them to do what they want to do and this will benefit everyone more than I can say.”