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Libraries are much more fun and interesting than the starchy old stereotypes suggest

When one thinks of a library, the image of row after row of towering bookcases, often patrolled by a stern librarian who’s quick to tell people to be quiet, comes to mind.

Libraries are much more fun and interesting than that starchy old stereotype suggests.

And when students return to the Fort Dodge Senior High School on Monday, they’ll find a newly remodeled library.

It features a bright decor of the Dodgers’ red and black colors.

Of course, it has lots and lots of books, In fact, Jen Cole, the teacher and librarian in charge of the facility, said it has more books than it did before the renovation started.

But the library also has some of the latest learning technology.

Among the features are a series of 55-inch screens mounted on the walls that students can hook their laptop computers to. Cole said this will enable students to collaborate and work together on the screens.

The library also contains some old-school technology that’s been experiencing a bit of a rebirth recently: vinyl records. For students who grew up listening to digital playlists and the occasional CD, encountering what some DJs once called a “stack of shellack” may be a novelty. Cole thinks the records are a great way to relax and another way to hook students into reading.

Other features of the new library include a coffee station — please don’t spill — and a tech area where school staff members will repair computers in an open area where students can watch.

Cole plans on adding a sewing machine to the library, providing yet another opportunity to learn a new skill.

The goal is to create a learning commons in the high school, according to Cole.

The project moved the Fort Dodge Senior High School library into the 21st century.

We thank the school board, administration, faculty and staff for having the foresight to do that.

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