Library / CLC
The College Library (Milton Senanayake Memorial Library) was renovated and re-opened on October 2016. It is now a part of the Creative Learning Centre (CLC), which also includes a media room and a creative learning lab.
The layout has been improved with sofa styled seating introduced especially for collaborative learning and to provide a relaxed reading environment. The idea of the rigid arrangement of furniture of a traditional library was dropped for a more flexible environment where students form their own learning spaces.
The Library has over 16,000 books and subscriptions to a variety of magazines, periodicals, and newspapers. New books are regularly acquired according to the syllabus requirements of the subject teachers.
It is managed by two librarians and two library assistants. It has an increasingly active membership and hundreds of students and many teachers use its facilities throughout each day.
Opening hours have been extended and the Library is now open from 7.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday during term time.
Middle school students are invited to use the CLC during intervals and after school.
The Library subscribes to the following magazines and periodicals:
- Lanka Monthly Digest / Living
- Readers Digest
- Explore Sri Lanka
The Library has the following newspapers:
- Daily News
- Daily Mirror
- Sunday Observer
- Sunday Island
- Sunday Veerakesari
- Iritha Lankatheepa
- A/L Maths & Bio Guru
- Chathura 10,11
- Sathura O/L
- Printing (Colour and Black and white)
- In January more than 90 new books were acquired for English, Sinhala, and Mathematics.
- The librarians are re-establishing the Library Council and will be recruiting ‘Library Curators’ in the coming months.
The air-conditioned media room has a 3D projector with a motorized screen, a high-end multimedia workstation and a professional sound system in a casual yet sophisticated environment where students can sit on beanbags, practice presentations and learn communication skills, practice for a debate, and engage in other forms of collaborative learning.
It can be booked for media presentations, film screenings and workshops by subject teachers and teachers in charge of clubs and societies. All booking requests should be directed to the librarians.
Creative Learning Lab
Located on the mezzanine floor, this is a cutting-edge digital learning center: an air-conditioned space with a transparent glass partition enabling a full view to those inside both the main library and the upper floor.
It has a Dell DL380 multi-workload computer server that hosts library management software, proxy servers, web filters, digital learning content as well as powering 7 HP ThinClient computers.
For media production, there are 2 high-end HP multi-media workstations with support for graphics and video rendering as well as the required industry standard software.
Also, there are 30 Windows tablets for students, so that they are exposed to the latest technologies and trends as well as encourage the traditional classroom to move into the digital age by providing access to a plethora of freely available apps for education and even gaming!
There is secure and filtered wifi internet access throughout the creative learning lab and library.
The College Library renovation by the Class of ’96
The Library as it was
Unfortunately our library, though a key icon and resource, required a substantial overhaul to return it to its former glory as well as to do justice to the invaluable records and manuscripts it housed. Initial phase of this important project was therefore focused on refurbishing the building including doing anew its floors, walls and windows and repairing and uplifting the furniture and fittings etc.
However, the more challenging part was to make the library a creative learning space that would be appealing to the 21st century student. It was quite obvious that our library too seemed to be dying a natural death just like many other school, university and public libraries. The library staff did confirm to us that the library was hardly used!
To stop them becoming obsolete, schools, universities and public institutions are looking at the concept of ‘creative learning spaces’ to make libraries relevant again in learning, teaching and education in general.
The five guiding principles behind the Creative Learning Centre
These are “open, free, comfortable, inspiring and practical”.
Open refers to the unconfined nature of the space. Libraries are traditionally a place for quiet, individualized work; but not in a creative learning space. Barriers may be used to separate spaces if needed as sound buffers or to set off group study rooms along the periphery.
Open suggests a cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas as well. The space should encourage the coming together of disciplines that are typically isolated from one another.
Free refers to freedom as opposed to non-fee levying. Freedom through reconfigurable furniture, mobility through wireless networking and mobile devices and the ability to form their own collaborative groups.
In a nutshell “the freedom to create and configure their own space”.
Freedom allows students to be comfortable. This should also be supported through furniture, which is relaxing, upholstered and comfortable and reconfigurable. This moves away from traditional wooden library furniture, which are usually arranged in an orderly manner and is quite inflexible. It also allows for new forms of group work and creative approaches to task negotiation, reportage and dialogue.
The environment should also be inspiring allowing for the creativity of the students to emerge. Key aspects include the ambiance of the environment, furniture and layout, colour schemes and paintings, sculptures etc. There is scope for rearrangement and play.
Practical refers to a place where real solid work can be done and where authentic learning can take place. This environment with openness, freedom, comfort and inspiring recognizes that students are responsible, skilled and are self-driven learners.
Practicality facilitates human-human interaction, technology-human interaction and information-human interaction for the creativity and learning to occur in both structured and spontaneous modes.
Opening of the CLC
More information about the CLC opening ceremony can be found on this news item.
- CATEGORY College Facilities