Recent studies on the development of multimedia services demonstrate that children and young adults are most likely to utilize these services (Kuhlthau, 1997). Because children from Kindergarten to high school typically find themselves in need of information, for both personal and academic growth, schools, parents and communities have an obligation to help students access information in a timely and relevant manner (Kuhlthau, 1988). Given the importance of providing students with the critical resources needed, it is imperative for community libraries to design and develop multimedia resources (Fasick, 1998a). Using this as a basis for inquiry, this report considers the planning of a multimedia room for children and young people in a local community library.
Design Brief. Background on Multimedia Rooms for Children and User Needs
Reviewing what has been written about the information needs of children and young adults, Kuhlthau (1997) reports that this segment of the population is one of the most avid when it comes to information gathering. According to Kuhlthau children require information for both academic projects and personal gratification.
[...] Decorations Decorations for the multimedia room will include various posters that are provided from the computer and equipment companies. In addition, the library staff has agreed to create posters with rules for proper equipment use and post them at each work station. In addition, children using the library will be asked to contribute to the decoration of the room. Eyre (2005) notes that, “Library services should actively involve children and young people in the design of the library services offered to them (p. [...]
[...] Conclusion Research on the importance of providing children and young adults with timely relevant information clearly demonstrates that this issue cannot be ignored by educators or the community. Through the use of multimedia resources children develop as learners and are better prepared for work upon completion of compulsory education. If the school is to help children meet these goals, a multimedia room is necessary to accomplish this end. While it is evident that this project will require considerable time and resources to complete, the reality is that when the room is completed, it will be an investment in the future of this community. [...]
[...] providing children and young adults with salient and relevant information is critical to the process of learning. Current and Future Trends While current data clearly demonstrates that there is an intrinsic need for providing multimedia services for children, Fasick (1998b) argues that there is an extrinsic need as well. According to this author, current trends in the national and world economy have created a situation in which education and knowledge employment have replaced manufacturing. In order to help prepare children for employment, higher education and technology skills are essential. [...]
[...] Access to the Room Access to the multimedia room will be provided to all individuals in the community that have completed a basic tutorial on how to properly use the equipment and the rules of the multimedia room. Individuals under the age of 13 that have not completed this tutorial will have access to the room only when accompanied by a parent or teacher. Further, patrons will not have individual access to the video equipment. Rather, patrons will need to work with the librarian to schedule time such that the librarian can supervise the equipment use. [...]
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