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TL Blogging Challenge #15 – My Library Wish List June 17, 2014

Posted by Mrs. J in the Library in Library Space, Reflections.
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TL Blogging Challenge #15 – What would be one (or two) items on your library wish list?  Why?  How might you get this item?

I would love to get new furniture for the library.  Actually, I would love a total library makeover with steps for seating, an outdoor garden area accessible by sliding glass doors, lots of nooks for reading, and different areas for study/centers/makerspace…but I live in the reality of limited space, no renovation budget, traditional architecture, and a mostly fixed schedule.  What I have to work with are lots of traditional shelves (both along the outside walls and in the middle of the library), white concrete block walls, and large square tables that I’m always bumping into as I walk by.

LibraryTables

Photo by Collette J.

 

Our current furniture is only 15 years old, though, and it’s still nice: high-quality, very heavy wooden tables and chairs.  There are no cushions on the seats; they are all hard wood.  While this does make them easy to clean, they are not very comfy or welcoming.  The tables are also hard to move.

 

ReadingTent

DIY reading tent made from a quilting hoop, sheer curtains, lights, and sparkly “ribbon” from a craft store.  I eventually got a chair to put under the tent for seating. Photo by Collette J.

For the past few years, I’ve tried to “makeover” other parts of the library to be more cozy.  I’ve added beanbag chairs, colorful carpets, floor pillows, and even a DIY reading tent that lights up (on a timer).  But still, the instruction happens in the hard, uncomfortable seats.  Even if I can’t get new furniture, I’d love to upholster the existing chairs with vinyl wipe-off cushions.  I don’t know a think about upholstering though, so that’s a bigger project than I can commit brain power to at the moment.

One thing I can do that’s more within my reach is to add wheels to the bottoms of the chairs and tables.  I haven’t taken apart the table or chair legs, but I think a heavy-duty drill bit and some wheel casters should do it.  At least that would make the chairs and tables moveable and easier to rearrange if/when I can make more room for more flexible learning spaces.  Big ideas, small steps…

I love Diana Rendina‘s Pinterest board of ideas for library spaces, specifically for tech integration ideas.  If I could design the perfect 21st century library, I would love to work with the architect to make some of these ideas happen!

Until then, I’ll start the new school year with some (kind of) realistic goals, a cordless drill, and a few calls to our district operations.

The blogging challenge is from Cybrarian Jen at Where Books and Technology Meet.  I’m going to try it out, but instead of daily posts, I’m going to try for 1-2 posts a week.  Follow and learn with us!  The participating blogs are listed in the comments of her post.

The photos in this blog post were taken by me, Collette J.  They are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share-alike 4.0 International License.

Comments

1. Angie - June 17, 2014

my DREAM is taller book shelves for the nonfiction section…4-5 shelves vs 2. I also wish there was more room so we could actually have furniture!! 🙂

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Collette J. - June 17, 2014

Yes to more room! Our whole school has very small rooms (for our capacity) and lots of concrete walls. The tables and beanbags are about all I can fit without causing more trip hazards. 🙂

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2. dianalrendina - June 18, 2014

Thanks for the mention! My dream space would definitely be larger, with windows, access to an outdoor garden, and with lots of collaborative areas. I’ve been working on making the best use of the space I have, and I’ve found so far that getting rid of stuff (weeding the collection, removing shelves) has been the biggest help. I just got a grant from Lowes for new furniture too!
Have you seen this post: http://spmscreativecommons.blogspot.com/2014/06/before-and-after-tables.html ?
I really like how that library is retrofitting their existing furniture to make the library more collaborative. If you have a woodshop, students could help out, otherwise you could look for a local business tto donate assistance.

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Collette J. - June 21, 2014

Hi Diana! I’m a big fan of what you’ve done with your makerspace, and that’s how I found your Pinterest board. I definitely agree about weeding the collection and shelves as a first step because, of course, you can’t move it until you have someplace to move it to. Thanks for your inspiration and funding ideas!

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