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Log 2015 2016: Library Media Services at Tenafly High School

Date:  February 2016

 Lunar New Year Event


On February 5, the Chinese Cultural Club, along with the Korean Cultural Club celebrated the annual Lunar New Year event.  Well attended by many different classes and parents, presentations included lion dance, poem recitations, skits, musical performances, food sampling and Chinese yo-yo performances.  The event took place in the library and is available to view on demand at

Bergenfield Schools Administrators
Visit THS Library Media Center

Bergenfield school administrators along with their television production teacher visited our premises to take a detailed look at our broadcast facilities.  They were especially interested in our TV control room and how we stream live and distribute our programs.  Earlier this year, Westwood Public Schools, Lakeland High School, Verona High School all visited our library media center.  We are happy to share our model with other districts and grateful for the support that allows us to usefully evolve our own library media center services for our students.

Mezzanine 105 Foot Update


The bulk of our 900 collection now resides comfortably accessible on a 105 foot long shelving unit on the mezzanine level. Presently, Ms. Rohrbeck is going through each book, removing what is no longer needed, condensing and ordering them.  The 920s (biography) is featured in the center; an excellent collection.    The low mobile bookshelves (rebuilt over summer of 2008 with the assistance of student summer workers) will be modified to a lower height to accommodate seating and/or displays.  The modest investment to install verticals on the wall (we reused the shelving) opens up space for supervised class meetings and events.  The newly claimed open space is slated to be used for exhibits, collaborative projects, computer and print research, college mini fairs, club fairs, yearbook photo sessions, and more.

Communication and TV Upgrades

Over the vacation week the television control room floor was strewn with wire and outdated equipment – an absolute mess.  The mess, all cleaned up now was worth it as it ultimately resulted in a higher level of order and functionality.

New installations of equipment help student learning and brings school and community closer.  Teachers now have the ability to display student work to the larger community.  An art teacher can easily upload a set of pictures from a class. They would be displayed on their own channel within the school, and scheduled on Channel 77 between programs.

It should be noted that the system design and installation of this equipment is done entirely in house.   If we were to have this designed and installed from an outside vendor, it would double the price, at least.  We have designed an original system that fits our needs perfectly – and others districts have shown interest.

Modulators and IP Encoding:



January 2016 Innovation Workshop

The center of our library is now called the “Innovation Workshop” where innovations of all kinds are created, worked on, and displayed.  Placed in front of our TV studio, we are now working on the following:  A solar powered village to include models of houses and a railway, all powered from the sun.  A video to simply explain how solar panels work will complement the diorama.    We hope this will make its way to all our elementary schools.  

Over the last few week the area has featured the following: coloring

  • Coloring! Ms. Allen’s Tenafly High School Art Club produced line drawings of scenes within Tenafly High School well suited for coloring.  Coloring, believe it or not, is found to be a beneficial activity for teens and adults.  Line drawings have been reduced and made into post cards should students wish to add a note and mail them.  This idea originated from a visit to the main train station in Munich, Germany.   Richart, a fine restaurant / bakery / cafe company annually sponsors various art activities, this year called “Wartezeit” or “Waiting time” which included coloring line drawings on post cards.  We look forward expanding Tenafly’s version of  “Wartezeit” offerings to other parts of the curriculum.  From tricuspid valves to Cold War maps, to the Mandelbrot set to scenes from Ulysses – there may even be opportunities to relate different areas of the curriculum on one card.  Our “Innovation Work Table” in the center of the library offers a perfect communal area for such activities for all students.  
  • Ms. Ragland’s Semester I final project challenges students to design an optimal classroom space for toddlers.   They take the form of dioramas –  these projects are detailed down to chalk on the chalkboard tray to toilet paper rolls. Thoughtfully done, students included plants, widows with cloudy blue skies, handmade furniture – a delight to lose yourself in!!    We are privileged of having the honor to display them in the Innovation Workshop!!

December 2015

Project Mezzanine Continues

Many thanks to Bill Breakfield and Joseph Latiano for painting the orange backdrop what will be the longest continuous wall of books – nearly 120 feet.  These books will include all our 900 collection which is mostly Social Studies and Biography.   Each of the 900 series books will be gone through, finding their place on these shelves – we are eager to invite the social studies department to participate in the selection / discard process.  The end result will be a magnificent and accessible display of books highlighted with a bright orange backdrop.  Open space in this area can be used for exhibits, projects, interdisciplinary meetings, yearbook photos, and even college mini fairs.

Studio Upgrades

In the coming weeks, we will be working on upgrades in our media delivery system; Channel 77 and 77Livestream, to high definition standard.  In addition we will add two electronic message boards, one for art and one for performing arts.  This will enable sharing of student work with the public.  A simple software interface on a computer will allow instructors to upload still photos, animations, montages, music and more.   Many thanks to Yas Usami for supporting our program and enabling these purchases.  A huge thanks to Jean Rohrbeck for entering all the purchase orders and keeping track of the budget.

A Busy LibraryDSC_9046

Every day over 1000 people circulate through our library.  It has been our pleasure to host and support individual students and full blown events on our premises.  Most recently we welcomed the Mr. Millar’s Madrigal singers, Joan Thomas’ Alumni Panel, Toshieba Ragland’s child development students and toddlers with rowboat ride, a visit from Bosse Klama from the  German Center for Research and Innovation speaking to students about German Media, the H.S.A. holiday luncheon, Israeli Cultural Club event, homeroom announcement broadcasts, and much more.  All this would not be possible without those involved in running the library.  Many thanks go to Jean Rohrbeck, Masako Izu, and Sharon Goghan for handling the circulation desk and more.  Many thanks to Steve Moger and Mark Fleming making our integrated broadcasting and the technical feats possible.


September 2015

Library Visits Continue

In addition to more than 1000 students and staff circulating through our library every school day, we were delighted to welcome guests from outside to include an administrative team from Westwood Public Schools, Lakeland High School, and a visit from the library media specialist from Verona High School.  Both schools are in the process of rethinking their own high school library media centers.  We are happy that our ever-evolving model is of interest to other school districts and hope their visits were useful.

New Titles

Many thanks to Jean Rohrbeck for keeping a pulse on curricular needs and special title requests for addition to our collection.  She has meticulously ordered and processed these books and now they are on display, ready to be circulated.

Project Mezzanine

Several weeks ago a series of verticals were installed on the library’s longest wall along the back of the mezzanine level of the library.  Existing library shelves will be transferred and each of the 900 series books will be gone through, finding their place on these shelves.  The end result will be a magnificent and accessible display of social studies and biography titles.  By utilizing the wall rather than the low shelves, space will open up.  Eventually this area will be used for interdisciplinary class meetings and exhibits, art displays and more.

Innovative in Engaging Students

Europeans often comment on how much larger everything is in the US – from cars to shopping carts.  In Europe, at least one thing is larger than what we are used to; outdoor chess.  Chess pieces are often a meter or more in height.  In an effort to engage students, encourage logic, forward IMG_0330thinking, and problem solving, the European oversized chess idea fit perfectly to complement our library media center.  We chose to build our chessboard indoors by replacing brown carpet tiles with black and white ones creating a twelve-foot square chessboard.  When the oversized chess pieces arrived, students eagerly assembled them.  For nearly one month there has hardly been a period where students are not playing chess with each other.


Not many students have seen a solar collector up close even as hundreds of solar panels were just installed on our roof.   A casual conversation about this with one of the persons managing our roof project resulted in two solar panels, connectors and wire donated to our library.  They are now on display and evoke many questions from our students.  Several students will be working on a top-secret project involving the panels – sure to energize our school!


April 2015

Library’s Television Control Room Upgrades

Lining up the 8 conductors in order found in Cat 5e cable
Lining up the 8 conductors in order found in Cat 5e cable

During the summer several upgrades were set into place within the television broadcasting facility / library studio, enabling new possibilities for students, classes, and programs. The upgrades will keep the entire school community better informed via our morning homeroom program and event broadcasts. With assistance from summer help Joshua Kim (2015), a new high definition capable video switcher with touch screen control, digital video router, various converters, and a fabulous intercom system (donated by WNJU, Ft. Lee) have all been made operational. With Mr. Steve Moger’s (broadcast production instructor) expertise, final software and hardware configurations were set in place. The intercom system has several stations located in key locations and will allow for communication between producer, director, camera operators, and even the talent while on the air via earpiece.

Within the library’s Newsroom, with thanks to Bob Caputo, (Technology Coordinator) students now can edit their video packages on brand new I-mac computers. Mr. Carlos Garcia (Library Media Technician) unpacked and custom configured each with required video editing platforms optimizing work flow. Students are set for a year of creative and interesting broadcasting.

New Titles Ready for Circulation

Selected new books purchased largely on popular request
Selected new books purchased largely on popular request

With great care, Mrs. Jean Rohrbeck (library secretary) has ordered, cataloged and made available for circulation a fresh shipment of new books and DVDs. Many of these titles are requested by students andstaff during the course of the year. Titles also reflect curriculum needs observed over time. Mrs. Rohrbeck’s attention to detail is the major reason why circulation numbers have steadily increased over the years despite the availability of resources over the internet. An efficient circulation system, supported by library morning and afternoon aides Mrs. Masako Izu and Debbie Cabrera efficiently insure needs of staff and students. Well over 30,000 transactions (including laptops) last year represent their diligence. We are sure to top that number this year.

New Worlds and Civilizations

Viewing Screen On! Our Google Earth viewer continues to be a popular resource for students. Fashioned after the viewer on the bridge of Star Trek’s Enterprise, a touch screen control enables students to interact with the large viewer, so they may “explore new worlds and civilizations”, fitting with the curriculum of our 9thgrade social studies classes. In addition, students often show other students where they are from – an education in itself. A recent example of this occurred when Severin Meyer (sophomore), our new A.F.S. exchange student, showed a couple of his classmates his home in Vienna, Austria.

Google Earth with a touch screen interface
Effective technology deployment on the Enterprise

Just below the touch screen are three terminals featuring “Newspaper Direct”, with over 2,000 U.S. and international titles—from 100 countries in 56 languages. This helps student research and allows our diverse student population to stay in touch with their roots.

Magic Moments

Wonderful sounds from a piano calm the troops!
Wonderful sounds from a piano calm the troops!

The library media center has been designed, in part, to act as a stress relieving area for students. The outdoor courtyard, aquarium, and now a new grand piano from the music department all help towards this end – the piano as the latest addition – yet another vehicle for student expression. Recently, student Ashley Kupferschmid (2016) began to play Erik Satie’s Gnossienne No.1. The whole library fell silent and remained that way for the rest of the period. Occasional music as cause of these magic moments, palpably release everyday stress, are most welcome. Many thanks to the music department and to Ashley.




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