Monday, October 20 2014

Meet Me at the Library

Meet at the Library Image2During the summer months, it may seem like a ghost town at Loyola High School near downtown Los Angeles and Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena. But for Connie Peters and Michael McDermott, summer is actually one of the busiest (and most productive) times of year.  With the start of school fast approaching, Connie and Michael orchestrate campus improvements that are both time and budget sensitive.

The young men of Loyola High School were greeted this year with the new William H. Hannon Information Commons and the Fritz B. Burns Library.  A formerly traditional library, the Commons reflects the increased focus of the academic environment on both technology and collaboration.  The library we remember with endless aisles of stacks and card catalogs has become obsolete, and the emphasis on teamwork has become more relevant in preparing students for their future professions.  The Information Commons uses a multi-faceted spatial layout that includes “watering holes, campfires, and caves.”  The watering holes are high top tables by the entrance, conducive to quick team meetings and touching base.  The campfires are groups of lounge or academic seating where larger groups can collaborate and discuss.  The caves are areas of isolated study, where students can focus without distraction.

Similarly, Mayfield Senior School completed a major relocation and renovation of its existing library in 2012, relocating their library from Hayden Hall to the newly renovated Strub Hall.  The Sr. Barbara Mullen Library reflects a similar focus on teamwork and technology, with many different collaborative and individual environments.  Students at Mayfield find themselves with the opportunity to study alone at study carrels, in small groups in lounge seating, in larger groups with tables complete with monitors for display, or even outside in the newly landscaped courtyard.  The Hayden Hall improvements provide additional social gathering spaces where students can also be found studying or working on group projects.

KFA has been involved in the development of the master plans for both campuses, pursuing dialog with City officials, and working closely with the staff of Loyola and Mayfield to provide a collective vision for each school as the academic environment continues to evolve.  Academia now has the unique responsibility of preparing students for professions that are also evolving. We admire and applaud Rita McBride and the faculty at Mayfield as well as Greg Goefels and the faculty at Loyola High School for embracing the evolution of the learning environment in order to prepare our children for success in their chosen careers.