Educational Design and Technology


Library media center facility is conducive to learning and flexible to meet every student’s needs


Overall Facility Design: Basic Considerations - Space Requirements and Design

1. The mission/philosophy of the school and its media and technology programLibrarian in empty stacks

2. The curriculum, teaching methods, and learning styles

3. The quantity and format of resources and equipment

4. The number and age range of the school population

5. Special needs of diverse student populations

Important Elements of Good Design

Access - A highly accessible facility can maximize services and the use of all available resources.

Location - Factors such as convenience and proximity to instructional areas need to be balanced with security issues.

Facilities for Exceptional Children - Media and technology facilities must be barrier-free and able to accommodate wheelchairs and other assistive devices.

Aesthetics and Atmosphere - An inviting and aesthetically pleasing environment can be created with simple solutions.

Ergonomics - Ergonomics maximize use of a facility and can also prevent physical strain and injury.

Mechanics and Engineering - Mechanics and engineering dramatically affect the operations within the facility.

Safety - Many, but not all, safety issues are addressed by building codes.

Security - The goal of any approach to security should be to increase the availability and access to resources for all users.

[From: IMPACT: Guidelines for North Carolina Media and Technology Programs]

Additional Reading

Diggs, V. From Library to Learning Commons: A Metamorphosis.  Teacher Librarian 36(4), 32-38, April 2009.

Diggs shares the story of the transformation of her Massachusetts high school library—both the facility itself and the program. 

Everhart, Nancy.1998. Evaluating the School Library Media Center: Analysis Techniques and Research Practices. Libraries Unlimited, USA.

Chapter 4, “Facilities”.

Web Resources

Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG)

http://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/buildings-and-sites/about-the-ada-standards/guide-to-the-ada-standards external link

Designing School Library Media Centers

Maryland Public Schools

http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/nr/rdonlyres/ec67fb12-fe6b-464a-a2ad-d0c6307773e3/24438/designing_school_libraries_resource_list.pdf external link

IMPACT: Guidelines for North Carolina Media and Technology Programs (PDF)
Revised 1/31/2008

http://www.ncwiseowl.org/IMPACT/external link

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Learning Environments: A 21st Century Skills Implementation Guide

Guiding recommendations, promising directions, action steps that can be taken to move states, districts and schools towards ensuring that students will be prepared for success.
http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/p21-stateimp_learning_environments.pdf external linkPDF
(397 KB)

[Photo courtesy New York Library Association]

Last Updated: January 5, 2015