So I’ve spent the morning so far progressing with CILIP and, as part of this, I’ve been looking at other librarianship blogs. I found this post from Jenny Arch to be very interesting and the Prezi presentation she linked has given me some ideas. Two quotes I found thought provoking were: ‘A building that can adapt to changes in information and technology’ and ‘A building that can change to meet our users’ expectations.’
I spoke in a previous post about the limitations our school library has and I couldn’t honestly say that this building is capable of changing for technology or our users’ expectations. Reading the blog post also made me realise that I am a little foggy on our members’ expectations. I would like to think that they expect the library to be a welcoming, comfortable and peaceful space where they can read, research and learn. All too often,there seem to be pupils inside whose intent is to create the exact opposite atmosphere!
Then there is the actual building itself: Whilst being architecturally pleasing there are serious issues with wall space and places where it is actually feasible to put bookshelves. If I had a magic wand (and tons of money) there are loads of ways I would improve the space: I’d uncurve one of the walls and allow bookshelves to rest along it; I’d take advantage of the two storey ceilings by actually having a second storey (a mezzanine reading room would be the ultimate dream.)
Until a magic fairy wand becomes available however, we have to make do with what we have. There are some ideas from the Prezi that I could see introducing in our school library; although I will have to overcome my trepidation at how some pupils could potentially spoil such initiatives.
Seating is an issue, we have a long wiggly sofa and three bucket chairs which have seen better days. I love the idea of beanbags because I believe you cannot truly enjoy reading in a hard-backed school chair. Putting my pessimist head on again though,I recall our old school library where the beanbags where more often used for hitting / burying each other than for sitting on.
The idea of blackboards for members to write their ideas and feelings on appealed to me and the plasticised areas of the windows would allow this quite easily. However, all school visitors must pass through the library and we would have to be constantly vigilant that nothing rude or abusive was written on them.
Finally there are the decals which I saw on some of the library walls. These would probably be the easiest idea to implement and the least likely to go wrong. We have plenty of high-up wall space where we could have ‘Read’ or other little words sprinkled around to make the area more pretty.
So Jenny’s post has given me much to think about but I think I will have to cast aside my pessimism to a certain extent in order for these ideas to work!