We have over 20 different shelving units in the library, 9 heavy wooden tables, 60 heavy wooden chairs, and all of this was stacked in the middle of the library! I was overwhelmed to say the least! I couldn't even reach the top chair to begin taking apart our mountain of furniture. So I did what any normal person would: I left and went to buy fabric to cover some old benches!
They turned out really cute, and I was able to stay sane while our district maintenance department pulled some of the furniture mountain down. On Monday, I had a few librarians come over to help and we moved all of the shelves into place. Thank goodness for those handy moving pads! I can't even begin to thank Debbie for all of her help on this day!! It was a long, hard day! When I left that day, the library looked like this:
Keep in mind that at this point, no boxes or books had been brought up from the gym. We had packed a lot of the books on library book carts, so Monday night we started bringing those up. Thankfully, on Tuesday, my dear librarian colleagues from the district came to my rescue! By the end of the day, all the Everybody & Non-Fiction sections were put on shelves! They were also instrumental in helping with the flow of the library! We rearranged shelves & sections until it felt right! I could not have done this without them!! Tuesday night, all of the boxes were brought up by our maintenance department and some volunteers.
By Wednesday, the library was again a complete disaster! And again, I had some wonderful volunteers, including one of our sweet 5th graders and some previous Curtis students, come to my rescue! At one point, I even had a school board member knocking off items on my to-do list! It takes a village to put a library back together! Thank you to Denise, Kari Ann, Jaylee, Kelly, Emily & Dalyn for all of your help!
|Thanks to WISD school board member, Jeff Geyer, my desk was fixed, as well as my new mobile checkout station!|
With our redesigned space, we also now have some reading & meeting areas for student use.
There is a whole group story area for our young readers and a whole group instructional area for our older students. Both of these areas have a large screen with a computer for Skypes, GHOs and project shares.
And the makerspace is still there! We are making some improvements in there also, with some Donors Choose projects that were funded recently, but I'll post that later.
My hope for this year is that this new and improved environment is constantly in use by teachers, classes, small groups, and individual visitors to our library & learning center! I want students to come in to collaborate, create & connect with others as often as possible! With this in mind, we will offer green screen and makerspace orientation for classes, so that students are able to come to the library when there is a project to complete or time for exploration, and know exactly how to use these spaces.
Stay tuned for how our students use their new space! And please share if you are a librarian and have a great space for your students! I searched many blogs, websites, etc to try to find ideas and would love to see what others have done, with limited funds & older furniture. :)