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Holiday Break Library Media Center Improvements 2016

– New Television Studio

About ten years ago, one of our graduates was interning at MSNBC.  He alerted us of MSNBCs intention to get rid of some set pieces.  Upon picking up the desk below, we were told in passing it once was used on the Phil Donahue set.  Here you see the desk being used by a PD taping with Marc Gold, Jessica Fox and Brian Ross . . .

. . . some years later through posted video we confirmed our desk in fact once belonged to Phil Donahue . . .

. . . using the Donahue set as a guide, we built this set in our back room connected to our library:


Students can use this studio for interviews, presentation of papers, and various other functions.  Using donated equipment racks as back support, we purchased custom cut plywood to size by Benjamin Brothers, brushed aluminum trim, carpet from Home Depot, black velvet and batting from Fabric Mall in Bergenfield.  The book shelves came some years back donated by a Tenafly resident.  Mounted vertically on the plywood are LG 43″ monitors (purchased from Micro Center, Paterson) individually connected to a computer with 4 video cards with free software enabling our using a high-resolution photo as a “view” of our choice.  Adjustable blinds soften the changeable background.   Many thanks to Mark Fleming for assistance in the design, construction, and wiring of the studio to the control room.  We will extend the life of 3 Sony HVR-Z1U HD cameras purchased in 2006 and use camera pedestals and teleprompters donated by NYC broadcasting companies. We look forward to placing this facility into regular use for a variety of programs.

– Improved “Manipulator” Copy Stand

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Several years ago, we obtained from NBC a very unique piece of equipment called the “Manipulator.”  We completely disassembled it and removed from the 4th floor of 30 Rockefeller Center.  Re-assembled in our library media center, we have used it over the years for various projects.   The device has a mobile/ programmable stage for video and is ideal for stills.  We replaced the original camera with a Sony Alpha A6300 mirrorless ultra HD still / video camera.  We also replaced the hot halogen lights with cool LED lights.  Students in Ms. Williams French classed recently used the Manipulator for “videoscribe” or white board drawing video class projects.  The unit is ideal for digitizing old photos as well as creating animated projects.

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– Library Workshop

Many libraries have bought into a concept now in fashion called “Maker Spaces” where students can get some hands on experience using various mediums.  In Tenafly, we have instead have a “Workshop” equipped with various tools to include saws, wire crimpers and terminators, cable testers, vices, soldering irons, drills, screw drivers, wrenches, etc.  Our purpose is for students to learn and to give back to their school.   Everything created here has a school use.  We have some transition students helping to organize and maintain this area, others repairing computers, and still more assisting in wiring our TV control room.  We intend to involve students in the construction of a podium.   All projects and activities have a practical end for our school and enable students to learn along the way.

– Improved Audio for Events

Steve Moger recommended the purchase an audio device for the auditorium which in turn made the existing device available for the library media center to expand audio capabilities.  This device will be located in our center library TV studio and make 16 audio inputs available connected to the mixer in the TV control room with one cat5e cable.  Also purchased are audio snakes enabling much easier audio setup for board meetings and other events requiring multiple microphones.

– Re-organization of Fiction Section

Many thanks to Debbie Cabrera, library secretary, our fiction section is being completely reorganized.  Placing ALL fiction together and alphabetized by author will enable easier access for students.  Genre in most cased can be ascertained by a graphic sticker on the book’s spine.

– Paint in Xerox & Cyber Cafe Area

Facilities improvements always have a very positive effect on those working in the building.  Improvements seem to magically enhance the teaching and learning.  Our staff spends lots of time in the Xerox and Cyber Cafe areas.  A fresh coat of paint, thanks to buildings and grounds, along with other improvements are presently underway will make this a more pleasant work area.  Many thanks to Buildings and Grounds department for facilitating these high visibility improvements.

– Blue Tooth Switches – Carrels on Mezzanine

Also installed are remotely controlled switches to turn on and off book lighting installed on the mezzanine last summer.

Three students in Ms. Deschene’s Engineering and Design class produced plans for library carrels, of which we will show to our welder and countertop maker to get estimates.