By KImberly Cushwa

This summer William Penn has the plan of bringing the library into the 21st century. Through many exciting modifications, the modernization of this space will leave it happily deemed as an Innovation Center. As it has been over a decade since the last full remodel, many members of the staff and student body have brought to the district’s attention the need for an overhaul. Funding for this project is currently being secured through private corporations.

Kristen Barnello stated, “Dr. Erskine has decided to approve the decision to remodel the library, but has been seeking input from a variety of people, at WP, the district, and other schools and libraries that have undertaken the transition to a 21st Century library model [to gain ideas on how to best update this space to benefit the students.]”

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The current plans entail many exciting additions, one of which includes a small cafe so students can sit and enjoy a latte as they read a book – others may just grab an espresso shot between classes if they need a little pick me up after a long night of studying. Four soundproof rooms are also in the plans. These rooms will be able to be used by students and staff to record podcasts, webinars, videos, etc. to be used as in class teaching material or for projects.

The biggest change to be implemented is the online course catalog that current social studies teacher, Mr. Kevin Wright, is putting together. This new selection of online classes will allow students who are interested in a topic not taught in a traditional classroom setting to gain original credit to be put toward their transcript for this subject. Others can take advantage of these online classes by adding them to their schedule when they are unable to take a traditional class due to it being filled or only being taught at a time when they have a previously scheduled class.

Wright said, “Many students are excited about the opportunity to access new courses and materials.  Students that are passionate about classes, but that have reached the top levels currently offered can use the new space to pursue independent studies. I sincerely believe that students are excited by the potential of a new challenging and rewarding program.”

Things such as the fiction section of the library will remain the same as students will be able to check out both recent titles and popular classics which spark their interest. The changes on this space are expected to be completed by the spring semester of the 2016-2017 school year.