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The North Penn library, an evolving resource

Senior+Raivyn+Brown+and+sophomore+Gabrielle+Moseley+taking+advantage+of+the+new+lounge+furniture+in+the+library
Senior Raivyn Brown and sophomore Gabrielle Moseley taking advantage of the new lounge furniture in the library

Senior Raivyn Brown and sophomore Gabrielle Moseley taking advantage of the new lounge furniture in the library

Mikaela Mosley

Mikaela Mosley

Senior Raivyn Brown and sophomore Gabrielle Moseley taking advantage of the new lounge furniture in the library

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TOWAMENCIN – The North Penn High School library had roughly 105,000 student visits last school year, averaging close to 600 visits a day. It is one of the few places at North Penn that is constantly being updated. As hundreds of students pass through from first to eighth period looking for a quiet place to study, tutor, complete projects, and much more, the library must make sure its resources can accommodate students completing a wide range of tasks.

One of the more recent changes in the library is the implementation of a new pass system during Knight Time on Tuesdays and 8B. The library  has increasingly been updating their technology resources to keep up with a technology dependent student base.

“Instead of having students have to come to the library to get a pass to come during Knight Time or 8B, we thought it’d be easier for them to just get it electronically,” shared North Penn librarian and Department Chair, Stormy Vogel.

On Tuesday Knight Times or 8B days, students who plan to work in the library must now fill out an electronic pass using google forms. The link can be found on the library website, and the form can be filled out anywhere as long as it is requested before the end of 3rd period for Knight Time or 8th period for 8B. After filling out the form students receive their pass via email.

“I’m hoping because it’s electronic we’ll have a greater attendance because it’ll be easier for students to get a pass. We hope it will be more efficient than us actually taking time to write out physical passes,” said Vogel.

In addition to the new pass system one of the other more obvious changes that have been made to the library is its physical appearance. The many physical changes include new furniture, the removal of several desktop computers, and an addition of six Kindle e-book readers. Also, more study space has been made available to students.

“We’ve opened up more study tables in the center of our library. We’ve put our teaching stations off to the sides so that they don’t interfere with students doing their individual study. We’ve purchased new furniture, which is a little bit more comfortable and a little bit more collaborative because the tables seat six people, so a group of six at least can get together comfortably. We’ve developed our creative design space where we have things that students can explore like circuitry and robots and things that they can go over and explore and create with. We’ve instituted a sofa that has power so now you can power up your phones or your Chromebooks. We have bean bags to make it a little more comfortable for students to sit down,” shared Vogel.

All of these improvements have been made in hopes of benefiting and enabling student success. With a student body that relies on instant information, students can be easily misguided by information they find online, and because of this, the library’s significance has never been more crucial.

In this age where you don’t know what information out there is actually true, librarians and libraries are more important than ever to help students sort through all of that”

— Stormy Vogel

“The library is more important actually now than ever. Stanford actually did a great study recently on high school students where most of them were not able to find things online. Lots of students use technology, but I would say most of the technology is used for social media, not so much for research. They really need to be guided on how to research and how to find things that are relevant. In our experience, we’ve been finding that students look for things online but they take the very first hit that they find so we teach them how to go a little bit deeper and how to find the things that they really want. In this age where you don’t know what information out there is actually true, librarians and libraries are more important than ever to help students sort through all of that,” expressed Vogel.

The library holds a lot of documents, but the biggest resources are within the staff. The librarians are there to aid students and educate them on their use of technology. Whether a student needs help finding sources for their research paper, or a good book to read, the library staff is there to help from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every school day.

“I find that students are shy and don’t like to ask for help, but we can’t wait to help them. We would love for them to ask more questions. We’ve had a wonderful experience with students in the library, they’re so well-mannered, they’re kind, they’re quiet and they do their work so we welcome the students, and we would love to have even more if possible.”

The North Penn library department has managed to serve thousands of students for decades, and it will continue to evolve to serve its new generations of students and their ever changing demand for information.

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