"We went to this session, and this woman took her school's underused library and turned it into a literary cafe. And there are comfy chairs! And colors! And books on display! And can we do this? We can totally do this! Let's DO THIS!"
He smiled, and nodded, and - we're pretty sure - pressed that magic button which summoned the secretary to rescue him with some sort of emergency phone call.
"The answer is yes, but not yet. Put it on your radar for next year."
So the CRL did something we hardly ever do: we waited.
|Before: Kids love rows! Not.|
|Our design - and it worked!|
Meanwhile, our *actual* library became a lot of things it was never intended to be: a warehouse, an A/V storage closet, a museum, and a faculty meeting area. Our 500 students knew it primarily as That Room We Walk Through to Get to the Computer Lab.
This was not okay.
|One word: Weeding.|
Summer of 2015, it was Go Time and we were thrilled with the opportunity. Not only would we reinvigorate the library, we'd address a few other pressing issues, namely:
1 - Erin's need for classroom space
2 - Mary's need for hours for her administrator's license
|Such a good egg!|
*cue maniacal laughter*
|This one was in Beast-Mode.|
We got to the pool twice. Mary's children spent some serious bonding time with our library scanning system. Her 3rd grader boasts newly-developed pecs after loading and unloading carts. As for hours, we stopped counting after one hundred.
|CRL - with power tools!|
|Pretty purple ones!|
Though school opened without the project being complete, we are extremely proud of our work-in-progress and the kids are already excited. More than once, a student has come up the stairs and gasped "Oh! It looks so GOOD! Thank you!!!"
They look at a space with half-filled shelves. They see spartan wooden chairs where - we hope - comfy beanbags will someday reside. And still they see beauty. Kids curl up on the bare floor, finding the nooks we created just for them. And that's more than enough to keep us going.
In our next post, we'll outline the steps we followed in case any of you