A lot more than books

FDSH library offers modern, creative space

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Laura Erickson-Huss, at left, a literacy specialist, Barb Wingerson, Feelhaver Elementary library paraeducator and Jean Black, library paraeducator at Cooper Elementary, try out one of the tablets that can be used to scan and view a short review of the books in the new library at Fort Dodge Senior High during an open house Tuesday evening.

Yes, the library at the Fort Dodge Senior High School still has books.

In fact, it has more books than it did before the recent remodeling that was completed in November thanks to a partnership with the Fort Dodge Public Library.

There’s also a whole new way to learn about those books.

Electronic tablets are available along the shelves and students can use them to scan a code on each book. That links to a short video on YouTube that tells them about its plot.

Those tablets were among the many new features that the public could experience for themselves Tuesday evening during an open house.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Josh Meier, 15, a sophomore at Fort Dodge Senior High, gives a poetry reading Tuesday evening during the open house for the new library. Behind him are the collaboration stations students can use to work together on their computers.

Among those checking out the space was Barb Wingerson, a library paraeducator at Feelhaver Elementary School. She toured with her friends Laura Erickson-Huss, a literacy specialist, and Jean Black, the library paraeducator at Cooper Elementary School.

“I’m very impressed,” Wingerson said. “It’s beautiful.”

Fort Dodge Senior High librarian/teacher Jen Cole offered guests a ready view of what the library once was. She had a special section of The Messenger on display from when the school was built. Back in those days, it was shelves and tables.

“I want them to see a modern library and what it has to offer,” she said.

The list of offerings is long. Besides books, there are 55-inch monitors that students can hook their Chrome Book computers to and work cooperatively. A maker station features 3-D pens and soldering tools with plenty of comfortable seating and bright lighting.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Trinity Possehn, 16, a junior at Fort Dodge Senior High, tries out one of the 3-D pens available at the library’s maker stations during an open house Tuesday evening.

The tables even have a dry erase surface so students can write on them.

Josh Meier, 15, a sophomore, gave a poetry reading to the guests attending the open house. As a student, he’s used the library in his studies.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “There’s so much space.”

So how does he rate it?

“It’s a good 4.5 stars,” he said.

The missing half star has nothing to do with the library.

“It’s getting more people to use all its features,” he said.

Trinity Possehn, 16, a junior, is also happy with the new library. She frequently plays an educational game on the monitors and enjoys relaxing with the 3-D pens.

Cole said the students are just discovering them.

“It took a little while to get them to try it,” she said. “Now they’re hooked.”

Her daughter, Elsie Cole, 8, gave the library a great review too.

“I like the red,” she said, looking at the many things in Dodger red. “I like the carpet. I like the looks.”

While that might indicate a potential career in library or interior design, she’s got her heart set on something else.

“I want to be a photographer,” she said.

The new library was opened to students after the Thanksgiving break.