Holliston High School has made recent additions to the library this year due to the desire for a space where students can use the library in new and different ways.
Librarian Mrs. Judith Grosjean recalls that the idea was sparked by HHS graduate Emily Poole, who redesigned the library for her senior project. Her ideas pushed Mrs. Bottomley and Mr. Reeve to change the library.
After this ignition, the changes started.
Mr. Thomas Reeve recalls how he and Mrs. Nicole Bottomley toured Watertown High and saw their “maker space,” an area with materials students could use to design and create. They wanted to bring this experience to HHS.
The administration has already installed a Holliston version of the “maker space” in the library, so students have a place where they can relax and be creative.
Librarian Mrs. Kelly McDaniel details that the changes are designed to bring down stress among students and improve education and skill building.
But it isn’t just the library trying to accomplish this goal.
Mrs. Grosjean mentioned that the art department and library have joined hands to invigorate student creativity. As a result, student art can now be seen hanging on the back walls of the library.
Mrs. McDaniel remarked that there are currently no plans to end renovations. More additions can be expected, with plans for increased use of the library for clubs, a possible movie night, and the arrival of new features, like a sewing machine.
Both librarians agree, the space has been rearranged to make best use of the library. It now has a dynamic purpose, changing to suit the students.
The librarians also both stressed how important the library is for the students.
Mrs.Grosjean said, “We want to meet people’s needs and have them tell us what they want.”
Mrs. McDaniel said, “The library space is for them [the students]… We want to make the library a pleasant experience for all.”
The question remains: do these changes accomplish their goals?
With the integration of the “maker space” and the 3D printers into the 21st Century Foundations class, more teachers and students have begun to experience the new area of the library.
Mrs. Amanda Rivera started teaching Foundations this school year, and was the first to use the “maker space” in the class. Mrs. Rivera has noticed that many students are excited at the opportunity to learn and use the space.
Mrs. Rivera remarked, “They, [the students], thought it was cool. They were excited to be doing a project where they could be creative in a new way.”
She estimated that while she taught Foundations, she used the space for around half the class. She also noted how, although she hasn’t yet personally used it, she could now use the printers in the space to fix materials for her other classes.
Some students have even begun to use the space outside of class and the academic setting.
Many teachers and students, including Mrs. Rivera and Mr. Reeve, have started seeing “spinners” come through the halls of HHS. The spinners were first made by students who used the 3D printers in the library to create the frame. Then these students placed bearings in that frame to finish their “spinners.”
As more students and teachers discover the space, the use seems to pick up, but there are still others who don’t want to use it or don’t seem to be able to.
Freshman Evans Djohan is also a recent addition to HHS. Djohan has an active lifestyle, and with sports and school occupying his daily routine, he doesn’t have a lot of free time for reading and other activities.
Djohan doesn’t usually go to the library and he doesn’t know many people who frequent it either. He has noticed the “maker space” and some of the technology in it, like the 3D printer, but he doesn’t seem all that excited about having it.
There are students that seem to be like Djohan. They don’t use the “maker space” now and don’t expect to use it in the future. Many students don’t seem to have or want to spend their time in the library and in the “maker space.”
Although many students do not currently make use of the changes and “maker space,” that doesn’t mean they will not. The “maker space” is still young, having only been at Holliston High School for less than a full school year. No one can be completely certain as to whether or not the library might see more and more students head towards a place where they can show off their creative side.
3D printers sit ready in the Holliston High School library’s “maker space.” (Photo by Ben Cappello)