Due to overlapping curriculum areas, such as literature, research skills and students ability to use applications like iMovie, the library and technology departments have been combined.
Head of School Coreen Hester, along with other members of the administration, made the decision which she then announced to both of the departments at the end of last academic year.
Head Librarian Karen Field believes the merging of the two departments will make her job and the job of all librarians easier. “The last few years we’ve felt as librarians, that it’s really hard to have the two departments separate because so much of what we do, we need technology to do it,” she said.
High School Technology Coordinator Mariam Mathew feels uncertain over the merge as it’s in the early stages of implementation. “Probably my number one question is how does it look with these two teams together, and what does it mean for our individual roles?” she said.
While the merge has occurred, there are no clear-cut ramifications of the decision.
Director of Technology Russell Layton considers it his responsibility to lead this change. “Any major reconstruction like this takes time. The decision was made, now it’s my job to lead that… I would hope by the end of the year we have a clear and agreed vision for the library-technology merger,” Layton said.
A major development of this unification could be a reconfiguration of the library. Nothing is imminent, yet a change of the space that is not “very functional,” appears feasible, Field said. “It’s really difficult to use the space as a classroom. It’s kind of a fixed space, a lot of that needs to change. I think we could use the space better.”
After current Director of Operations Jim Heynderickx vacated the position filled by Layton at the start of the year, it seemed like an appropriate time for the union to take place,” Field said.
Improving student learning is the unified purpose of this merger. “What I hope it will mean and what the intent of this is that [students] will have more opportunities to use technology to support their learning,” Layton said.
To aid understanding of what should be done for the future, the new department recently underwent a review process after collecting information from students in a survey. Meetings took place on January 22 and January 28 to discuss the most important findings of the merge. During this time, the joined department began the process of creating a mission statement. “The next stage is to come with a vision and essential questions for this merger,” Mathew said.