I recently obtained the position of Librarian/Technology Specialist at a K-6 elementary school. Through this position change I inherited a large, beautiful library. While thinking through my library redesign there were a couple questions I needed to ask myself before I created a plan.
1. How would the school like to use this space?
Answering part of this question is simple: Obviously we use this space to store a collection of books that inspire students to read. I also want space for students to read comfortably. In addition, there should be an area for teaching lessons and a reading corner. It is my hope that we can also use this large library to create a Makerspace in one corner of the room and some collaborative work spaces for students.
However, I cannot answer this question alone. I need to talk to students and staff about what they would like to use the library space for as well. (More to come on this!)
2. What are the goals of this library redesign?
Through this library redesign I would like to create a place that inspires a love of literacy. I want the library to be an area of technology exploration and creative, design thinking. I know the students must be yearning for a more 21st Century feel to this area. Furthermore, it's important that the library is a place where students can come work together on projects.
3. How can we get funding and support for this redesign of the library?
Our school is starting with essentially no technology for our makerspace. We can get donations from parents and community members to start our makerspace projects. These donations could include cardboard, legos, pipe cleaners, craft sticks, modeling clay, beads, and pom poms. In addition, grants will need to be written for more technology options and some collaborative library furniture.
After thinking through the larger parts of this library redesign, it seems more likely to generate a plan over the course of three years in which the library will be fully developed and redesigned. However, through this process I am certain that I can create a purposeful and collaborative space in which students are excited to read, explore, and learn!