Schools and classrooms can be exciting places of learning. Like our homes, we invest a lot of time in our workplaces and we want them to be comfortable. The more we feel comfortable in our space, the more productive it can be. This comfort translates to the students as well. If they are in an environment that is conducive to learning, the will be more productive as well. The physical layout of not just our classrooms, but our school libraries as well, should create these positive climates.
To some extent, the layout and furniture in our classrooms and libraries is not in our control. We walk into our rooms when we first get the job and take a look around. The desks and tables that are already in a the room are probably the only options. School budgets can often limit new purchases of desks, tables, and chairs. It’s not reasonable to expect walls to be knocked down to expand a classroom or to have additional lighting, electrical, or data ports installed. We usually have work with what we’re given. Regardless, we do what we can to create a positive learning environment that meets everyone’s needs
A recent school library journal article got me thinking about the space of my library. I think there could be a lot of improvements, but I’m limited, in much the same way as other teachers. I’d love to rearrange books shelves or move the circulation desk, but I can’t. All of my bookshelves, with the exception of one, are built into the outer walls of the library. There isn’t a data drop where I’d like to put the circulation desk. My hands are tied. Somewhat. Over the past couple of years, I’ve added some color to the walls and added a couple of book racks. I had a couch in the library to create a comfy reading areas. Unfortunately, I had to get rid of it for a couple of reasons, one being the constant fighting among students wanting to sit there. Perhaps other comfy furniture will return someday, but for now, it’s just wooden tables and wooden chairs.
The article in SLJ led me to an idea after looking at some of the pictures of incredible schools libraries. Wouldn’t it be great to have a place where librarians and teachers can post and share pictures of their favorite school libraries? This depository would be a place school librarians could go for ideas when rearranging or creating their library space. I’m going to set one up very soon, but there will be a catch. A catch that will be an added bonus to those who submit photos.
Check back soon to find out more.