“Our students need a library, they need a computer lab, they need a space,” Locher said. “It’s a waste of space for these students.”
The library space is currently being used for administrative offices, but Locher has asked that the use as a media center be placed on the Wednesday’s agenda for a vote.
Locher said she would like to see the space vacated by current staff and open during the school day at all times for students.
“I just want it available,” she said.
At Locher's suggestion, the board will also consider hiring a media specialist to work with students in the media center.
Board president MJ Knafelc, whose daughter recently graduated as a media specialist, said she agrees that there needs to be a library, but wondered where the funds would come from for a new hire.
Knafelc said starting salaries range around $45,000 plus benefits. Plus, she said systems would also need to be updated from when the library closed.
Superintendent Cynthia Zurchin, whose administration offices are in the upper level space, said any student is permitted to come into the library. Prior to being offices, she said the location was being underutilized as a reading and learning center.
Barry King, director of special programs, said mostly English classes and special education used the center. He said most students conduct their research using an online search engine and there is a cyber lab.
“I certainly would support bringing a media specialist in. I think that is an absolutely wonderful idea,” Zurchin said.
School Director Robert Keber, who is in favor of a media center, asked how many teachers take their classrooms to the library on a given day, to which Locher responded “none.”
“It’s a very valuable tool and needs to be utilized,” Keber said.