Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What I am doing about Library Layout: Part Two

So my story of change continues. The summer before last, I decided the 1970s orange countertop that was waist high, made of laminate and particle board. It certainly wasn't a patron friendly space.  I wanted to be eye level and seated as I worked with kids.  I found some furniture in an old lab we no longer used and brought it in.  It was a beautiful color of blue, looked very professional.  I decided to paint the library to match.  So we went from drab brown walls to a lovely cornflower shade.  All of my orange was gone.  Next step, more shelving movements.

I am not a fan of tall shelving.  High School kids are more than willing to do what they aren't supposed to do if they have nooks and crannies to hide in.  I did everything in my power to do even more shelving relocation to open up spaces and make it hard for kids to be naughty.  My aid and I spent a few days with the drill taking apart the shelves and sliding them all over the library.  I am happy to say I now have a huge space where a class could meet and do lessons and I can see the entire thing happen.  I like to see it all. (That is why I added mirrors.

Last year, I got rid of the bean bags (they were dingy and well loved) and I got adirondack chairs. ($20, washable, and they are easier to maintain than the bean bags.) I kept the rugs and tables but relocated them to a quaint open space that is very visible from the circ desk.  There is a small chess area and a television (Which I got with an LSTA grant) right where kids can use it.  I moved my large magazine rack to the space so kids could come and go and read magazines as they relaxed.  We added a coffee shop so kids could come in, have a coffee and visit.  The library has become the school social ground and I love it.

My next plan?   Make my office into the coffee shop, move the circ desk to a more centralized location so I can work with kids and teachers but also be able to maintain a better social space. Hopefully I can find and win a $40K grant to get new, shorter metal shelves so I can open the space up and make it more of a "teen friendly area."  Maybe I can find money for new tables (since I have had to pitch four this year because they broke) and money for a coffee shop sitting area.  Guess I am dreaming now!

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