Fort Dodge Community School District

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New Books, and Vinyl - from The Messenger

November 21, 2018

When the students at Fort Dodge Senior High return from their break after the Thanksgiving holiday they'll be welcomed into the newly remodeled library.

Teacher/librarian Jen Cole said they only have to wait a few more days.

"It'll be ready Monday." she said. "They're going to come back from break and we'll have coffee and doughnuts."

Among the first special events, an author talk.

"We're going to Skype with author Angie Thomas, she wrote "The Hate You Give." she said. "Be forewarned though, the book and the movie are way different."

The new library features a coffee station. Cole is hoping to develop it and run it like a small business the students can use to raise funds.

"It's a work in progress." she said.

Students will also find some added technology that includes a series of 55-inch wall mounted screens with a work table and chairs next to them.

"They have the ability to connect their ChromeBooks to them." she said. "They'll be able to collaborate on the screen and work together. I'm really excited about that. I've had a lot of teachers request time on them, too. I'm able to fulfill their needs in this space."

Another addition to the library brings back some old technology.

"We're going to have vinyl records." she said. "You can connect the songs to history. It's also an awesome way to relax. Enjoy a record while you work. It's a cool way to draw kids into reading."

Cole, who grew up in the '90s, said the students are looking forward to it even though the format predates the current crop of students.

"They are so excited," she said. "They know a lot of music I know."

The Tech Area where staff works on the ChromeBooks and other gear is now out in the open where the students will be able to see them work. There is also a maker space and Cole plans on bringing in a sewing machine which already has a first project scheduled.

The students will get to make pillow cushions for the new seating.

"I already have the fabric." she said.

The new decor in the library is bright and airy. The furnishings and walls are done in the Dodger colors of red, black and white.

Of course, the new library also has books. In fact, it has more books now than it did before.

"We asked in a survey what the students wanted in their library." she said. "A lot of them wrote they wanted more books. We've expanded our collection and have more shelving."

The school library is also partnering with the Fort Dodge Public Library. Cole said the public library has helped with book selections and actual books as well.

"I'm excited about that." she said.

The goal of the work?

"We want to make it more of a learning commons." she said.

The students have already peeked in a few times to see how the work is coming along.

"They're already sneaking in." Cole said. "I put them to work."

Jennifer Lane, communications director for the Fort Dodge Community School District, is proud of the new library, too.

"It's transformed the library from what it was when we were in school into the 21st century," Lane said. "She's done a great job of that."

The public will be able to tour the new library at an open house at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 8.

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