Aptakisic Junior High unveils library upgrades
Aptakisic Junior High students Ryan Magee and Jason Roseman take advantage of their school's new library. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 29, 2012 3:28PM
BUFFALO GROVE — Years of thought, and $650,000, went into the design and construction of the newest educational feature at Aptakisic Junior High.
As for the new facility’s name, school officials agreed that no work was needed there. Rather than calling it a “media center” or any other trendy juxtaposition, school officials kept the title “library.”
“That’s very intentional,” school librarian Barry Love said.
Aptakisic scheduled an open house Monday to introduce parents to the school’s recent investment.
The new library offers a combination of technology and simplicity. The space features a pair of flat screen monitors that students can hook up to their school-issued iPads; a pair of projectors throw images onto smartboards; and bright paint and carpet create an atmosphere of excitement along side the comfortable seating.
It also provides the space for more old-fashioned books than the original design could hold.
And those books are being checked out at a record pace at Aptakisic, school spokeswoman Vickie Walter reported.
Walter reported that students checked out a total of 1,794 books during the 2011-12 school year. More than 3,900 books have already been checked out this fall.
On a typical morning, she explained, packs of three and four pupils pile onto the new couches while others put their elbows atop the chest-high book shelves in the middle of the newly opened space. At the ends of one new book shelf, a pair of gigantic dictionaries sit on display — and kids gathered around them, fascinated by its size, reading the dictionary.
“There is a certain novelty to being exposed to old technology that this generation hasn’t been exposed to,” Love said.
Planning for the redesign began in 2010, Walter said.
Theresa Dunkin, superintendent of Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary District 102, said officials placed an emphasis on aesthetics, going for bright colors, wood textures and an open layout.
Love, who replaced 30-year librarian Janice Wiener at the start of the school year, said the design is working.
“It’s a much warmer and welcoming environment,” Love said. “For junior high kids, you need that.”