Ecole Handsworth Secondary in North Vancouver is welcoming a new chapter for its library section, with the addition of a sound-proof privacy pod.
Designed to offer a quiet, more productive spot for students to write up assignments or study, the Loop Phone Booth is a sleek and slender one-person pod that dampens the sound of outside chatter.
Inside lies a bench seat, desk and electrical and USB charging ports.
Principal Mark Barrett said the upgrade felt necessary given the changing nature of school libraries.
Handsworth, like many of its contemporaries, has shifted in recent years from having a more traditional library to having a Library Learning Commons (LLC), a learning space where students can come together to work on projects, presentations, and engage in discussion.
At Handsworth in particular, said Barrett, it is also a place where film screenings are hosted and citation classes are held by librarians.
The move to a more dynamic library space has been a “positive change,” he said, but it didn't cater to those students who prefer and benefit from quiet spaces.
“These booths are one way we can meet the varied needs of all our learners,” he said.
The pods also help prepare students for a more modern workspace, where the likes of working from home and desking have become more commonplace.
“Flexible working environments have become the norm in many industries,” he said.
“Some businesses, post-COVID, are continuing to use either hybrid work models or flexible workstations where employees come and work on a temporary, drop-in basis, at a shared desk or workspace.”
Since the pod was introduced a few weeks ago, Barrett said the response has been “enthusiastic and positive” from students, so much so that a second pod is already planned for the near future.
Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.