By Michael Pepin
The Media Center is as busy as always, filled with students cramming for a test, chatting with friends, and surfing the web. Ever since FC obtained a rebuilt library four years ago, its purpose has become more of a subject of discussion, as the students seeking books are far outnumbered by those simply seeking a place to hang or surf the web.
“I think that students feel like the library is a safe place to exchange information with their friends and research. A lot of students come into the library in groups, or as a part of an entire classroom,” said media specialist Pamela Poe. “The library has become more of a learning commons than anything else.”
Many students, including senior Brian Young, agree with Poe’s statement about the library.
“I use the library for anything from finding books, hanging out with friends, doing homework, studying for a test, checking my email, whatever I need to do. It’s more than simply a place to checkout books now.” said Young.
In fact, Poe, media assistant Vince Goodman, and a number of students who regularly use the library, believe that the majority of students now come into the library for the computers rather than the books.
“The library has become more of a computer lab than anything, it’s easier to study on a computer than it is with books. I think that in future years the library might have more computers than books,” said junior Seth Jenkins.
In fact, the library plans to follow through with the BYOD plan (bring your own device plan) to allow the usage of wireless readers and other devices in the library. In addition, the media center is planning on stocking the library with several ebooks that will be available for checkout as well.
“I mean it’s in the name, they call it the media center now, not the library. The library is eventually going to get rid of all the books and be just devices like ebook and computers. It’s already started, I mean how often do you see people coming in to find a good book to read, and how often do you see someone coming in to log onto a computer. People like the library because it is a computer lab with better access,” said junior Katie Davis.
However Poe has a different opinion on the future of the library.
“People come to the library because there is a greater access to information than anywhere else in the school, and having both forms of research available is why so many students come in. Some do only use the library for the computers, but there will always be some who come in to discover an amazing book. If it gets them through the door, then perhaps maybe they will end up picking up a book. There is just no substitute for holding an actual book and being enthralled in a story, it’s timeless.”