Funds sought for media center Liberty High modernizing library SOUTHEAST--Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

September 28, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

A "Magic in the Media Campaign" could make Liberty High School the first in Carroll County with an automated media center.

The Parent Teacher Student Association hopes the campaign, launched last month, will raise $40,000 from area businesses to complete automation of the center.

With donations of $6,500 from the Board of Education and $10,000 from the PTSA already in hand for Phase 1 of the modernization, the 13-year-old school has begun "to provide technology of the future for today's students," said Michael J. DeBoy, PTSA president.

Last week, computer technicians from the Follett Book Co., of McHenry, Ill., installed a check-out system at the media center's main desk, a file-server, two work stations for students and provided staff training.

The PTSA and school officials need $40,000 more for Phase II of the plan.

The money would be used to buy multiple linked terminals and printers, which would help Liberty's 1,050 students locate the center's 20,000 books and periodicals and 2,500 audio/visual items, quicker than thumbing through a card catalog, said Ruth Ann Brown, a media specialist for the school since 1980.

"Students could sit down in one spot and find all available books, references and magazines, and pick from a menu what they need," she said. "They can get what we have available from one source instead of the card catalog, the vertical file and the Readers Guide."

Liberty will undergo a Middle States Evaluation next fall, and Mr. DeBoy said the lack of a "state-of-the-art" media center could adversely affect the school's evaluation. C "We are now in the age of technology," Mr. DeBoy said. "The faculty and administration has identified the media center as an area which must be brought up to date."

Drawing dollars from local businesses, however, will take solid fund-raising work.

"We will make a concerted effort with our parents and in our business community," Mr. DeBoy said. "We will take any donation, and are asking parents who work out of the area to contact their employers, too."

Mr. DeBoy said PTSA members will "walk area malls and shopping centers" to make the appeal for funds.

He also will display plans for the center at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast tomorrow. Another breakfast for South Carroll businesses is planned for Nov. 3 in the media center.

Several companies have offered used hardware and software units, and the Sykesville Town Council donated $100.

"Many of our children will go to high school at Liberty, and this new equipment can help all the students," Mayor Kenneth Clark said. "Those of us with contacts in the business community should pass the word around."

When the campaign ends Dec. 16, Mr. DeBoy said he hopes to present "one big check" to Principal Robert Bastress.

Ms. Brown, who said she couldn't be more delighted with the campaign, knows students would put the system to work.

"They figure out computers right away," she said. "They have no fear of them."

The proposed system would provide more detail about each source and be less time-consuming than the card catalog. It also would be "less frustrating" for handicapped students and help prepare college-bound students.

"At least 75 percent of our students go to college, where they will find computerized systems," she said. "We want them to go prepared."

Student Dawn Vaughn, 17, said a computer system would save time and make research easier.

"We usually only get one period to work on reports," she said. "A computer would give us more time for research and make things easier."

Junior Lisa Heberle said she hopes the new system would be similar to the one at the Eldersburg branch library.

"We could get more work done in school," she said.

Ms. Brown asked the PTSA to adopt the project this year after seeing a similar, working system at a private school in Baltimore County.

"[PTSA] emptied their savings account and gave us $10,000," she said.

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