It’s that time of year. Time to begin thinking about a new school year, new students, new families, new amazing ideas, new innovative projects, and more. However, this year brings another big “new” thing: a new library! After 2 years of planning, our new school is almost ready. Workers are busily putting on the finishing touches and boxes and furniture are arriving daily.
The process for designing the new media center has been incredible. I have been involved every step of the way. There have been multiple meetings, emails, feedback sessions, brainstorming, etc. to put together the space that students will see in just a few days. The word that we carried with us throughout the whole process was “flexible”. I wanted a space that would be as flexible as possible to allow the space to change and adapt to the kinds of learning that students were involved in. At no time has it been about the stuff. You certainly have to consider the stuff all along the way, but what students, teachers, and other learners are doing within the space is what matters most.
In our new library, you’ll find 2 projection areas. One will be more for story time, discussion, gaming, guest speakers, etc. where students will sit on the floor and the other area will have tables where students can use devices and have a work space while things are shared or demonstrated on the projection board. Our circulation area will not be a traditional desk but more of an island. Students will check in their own books, store them on carts beneath the island, and then check out their own books on their way out. There will be multiple spaces for students to sit, collaborate, read, etc. This will include tables, chairs, stools, counters, bean bags, and other soft seating. I hope that this creates a mix of quiet areas for students as well as areas for more noise, conversation, and collaboration. All of the book shelves will roll so that they can be easily moved to accommodate larger groups or learning needs. The shelves hook together with magnets. Students will have access to an interactive screen for perusing ebooks. There will be a studio where we will use iPads to record and macbooks to edit video. Even this studio is completely mobile and won’t feature the traditional video cameras and multiple wires running across the floor. I can’t wait to see how the space works and how it evolves.
For now, this is how it looks. It’s an overwhelming task to take the brainstorming and visioning and turn an empty room into those ideas. My team of volunteers will be hard at work next week and into the beginning of the school year getting everything ready. We are still waiting on some center casework to be installed as well as casework at the entrance to the library. Our space probably won’t be ready on day 1 of school, but I will count on some miraculous things happening in this amazing space later this school year!