About The Media Center

Media Center MetamorphosisA major reorganization of the physical and operational aspects of the Media Center has taken place.  The first objective was to organize the materials, both print and nonprint, into a cohesive and readily accessible state. The second objective was to establish a contemporary hub that is warm, welcoming, friendly and inviting. The results from the first three years of intensive effort have been rewarding, particularly in the dramatic increase in utilization by both faculty and student population.The Media Center is open every school day from 6:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., with pre-school-hour access especially beneficial to staff.  The Media Center is open to users more than 41 hours a week, serves a student population of approximately 550 and a staff complement of nearly 60, and has an inventory of nearly 12,000 volumes. The Media Center is  viewed as an available and accessible resource.As part of the reorganization, the Media Center entered into an agreement with the Newark Museum to exhibit artifacts from its collection that were relevant to the school’s curriculum. Student art work is displayed on a rotating basis, and there is a Question of the Month prompted by current events.A highly successful Book Fair staffed by students, in conjunction with Scholastic Book Fairs, generated over $3,000 and a donation of $1,200 worth of new reading materials. A portion of the $3,000 was utilized for purchase of new books and supplies for the Media Center.Teachers, responding to the positive atmosphere of the Media Center, come in at all times to research curriculum materials and to seek the advice of the media specialist, closely approaching an inundation point where a curriculum research assistant may become a necessity.During Cooperating Planning Period (CPP), the media specialist, on a rotating basis, meets with teachers of various disciplines to determine both their present curriculum needs and long-range needs. This information is used in planning various media purchases, as well as to collect specific materials to meet a certain teacher’s program when bringing a class unit into the Media Center. The media specialist works with teachers to assure that appropriate quantities of materials are available for students’ summer reading lists, as well as developing a Teacher Resource Center that has met with great acclaim.The Media Center is equipped with 13 laptop and 15 desktop computers designated for student use, which are integrated into a Local Area Network within the Media Center. Peripherals include LAN-integrated laser printers, a scanner, a Braille Writer, an Augmented Communication Device and an FM Hearing System. All terminals can access the World Wide Web, although there are security settings that restrict access to inappropriate web sites. CDs can be played through the computers. There is one 24-inch screen color television with a VCR and a DVD player attached.The second priority was to adapt the environment of the Media Center to the needs of the Center’s clientele, namely the students and the staff. This meant enhancing an "open door policy". Expanded hours, flexibility with group visitations, exhibits and the like created an ambience akin to the local Barnes & Noble store. Simply put, the role as a Media Center Specialist is to be a service provider to the educational community.Media Specialist Lawrence V. Ghezzi states that "although no longer a 'classroom teacher' in the traditional sense, I am a 'hands-on' professional in the Media Center. I am proud of my ability to be involved with as many students as possible to ensure that the highest quality of learning experiences are available to them."An interesting development has been the number of students who have obtained passes to utilize the Media Center in order to complete upcoming assignments for class. I have been informed that, in many cases, the students do their homework in the Media Center because it provides a quiet, intellectually stimulating atmosphere. Without such a resource as the Media Center, it is possible that these students might not reach their potential as a productive member of our society."