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At Asheboro High School last week, 141 students formed a giant chain to transfer books to the school's new media center.   Ray Criscoe / Randolph Hub

Brain power leads to student power

Ray Criscoe

Randolph Hub


ASHEBORO — There’s something you don’t see every day.


If you caught a glimpse of students lined up side-by-side at Asheboro High School last week, here’s the question that led to that outcome:

How do you move all of the books from your temporary media center to your new media center located across school campus — besides, of course, just filling boxes and lugging them over and then unpacking them? 


By using your brains and your resources at hand — in this case, students.


 Media specialists Laura Holland and Mary Luck collaborated with math teacher Beth Beckwith and AHS students, who measured the distance between the old and new Media Centers, found the number of people who would be needed to a set distance apart and form a human book-passing chain, and then used time samples to determine how much time it would take.


“When we moved from the media center to the temporary location, we put all of the books in boxes, which were heavy, and then had to unpack and organize them,” Holland said. “This way was so much better because the books were already in order and just went from one shelf to the next.”  


The end result: 141 students lined up across the campus to take on an approximate 7-hour task to collect and pass 10,000 books to the new media center.


“My student assistants and I estimated the number of shelves needed for the new space and I wanted to make sure that I left enough room so that we could showcase some of the books by facing some of them out on the shelves so that students could see some of the covers,” Holland said. “We also ‘genrified’ much of our collection to make things easier to find. For example, mystery and true crime is in one section, historical fiction in another and so on.”


You know what they say about the best-laid plans, though.  


“We spent about 3 1/2 hours doing the actual book chain, but had to stop early because the power was out that afternoon and students were sent home.


“After that we had some WONDERFUL student volunteers on Thursday who helped us finish moving the books over.”


The new media center will be open to students following Spring Break.