Students Respond to Budget Cuts with Fully Automated Library Kiosks

Photo credit: aoiths.org

Franklin K. Lane High School, once a big campus, was broken down into four schools after receiving a D-rating due to its low academic performance and graduation rates.

After the breakdown the school’s budget was short, and the library took a hit. Students at one of the new schools, the Academy of Innovative Technology, weren’t able to check out books in the school library as they wanted to.

Some people look as not having a librarian as a disappointment, but AOIT looked at it as an opportunity. It may still be under construction, but it is functional and used all the time. And their motto,”Teamwork makes the dream work”!

The Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation sought to change that. Its Summer Youth Program reached out to local schools and informed them of the opportunity for student enrichment, and AOIT students signed up for raffle to work with them.

In June 2015 students in the SYP came up with a plan to make a kiosk to replace of the school librarian. Twenty-four students split into three teams—games, design, and media—worked to bring the idea to life. The kiosk was designed so that students could check out books, serve as a study guide or a chemistry tutor. It would also help with resume-building and college applications.

Located for now in the school’s technology room, the teams are working to make the prototype more accessible by building a stand for the touchscreen kiosk so that it can be moved to the main room of the library.

Michael Valentin from the games team said the program gave every participating student an aspect on how a working environment looked and functioned.

“At first there was some problems with the team because not everyone would do work, everyone would mess around sometimes,” he said. “It was difficult being team leader because not all of my coworkers agreed with me being team leader, but when push came to shove I would always assist in getting the team situated.”

Karie Alphonse said, an AOIT administrator, said the students had done well.

“They accomplished their goal on creating a game that would aid students with studying for chemistry in a fun, interactive way,” he said.

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