Recently a team from my district, Rocklin Unified, visited the Ponderosa High library as we're looking for ideas and inspiration in what do with our high school libraries. You see, we are re-purposing space as books which are no longer being used are being moved out. The “what to do with this space”, is a tough question as everyone from teachers to librarians to admin, all have an opinion.
I am part of this team which is looking into options and I thought I would share a little as we begin our process.
I have been recently inspired by both seeing incredible share outs from the CUE BOLD conference earlier this month (check out the hashtag #cuebold to see the conversations about space and lesson design) AND I finished reading this book which you should all get your hands :
“The Space: A Guide For Educators” by Rebecca Louise Hare and Dr. Robert Dillon
The description, “a revolution is happening in education concerning reshaping school spaces to better support learning. This book goes well beyond the noise on learning space design that focuses on pretty Pinterest classrooms and moves towards a more sophisticated conversation about how learning spaces support and drive brain-friendly learning” is a testament how we can look at the classroom and other spaces like libraries as a key ingredient to help student learning and connecting to schools. It is an easy read and will serve as an inspiration to you or to others whom you may be trying to nudge in this direction.
I will just share two of my takeaways from this trip… 1 Big… 1 Small
1) Big Takeaway
What she has created is NOT about the furniture or the tech. It's NOT about revolutionary, crazy images you see on Pinterest. Its IS ABOUT A MINDSET SHIFT of changing the culture of your space. She shared that “the library is the heart, the hub of the school” and they have a belief that “when someone needs help, they go to the library”. This a shift away from the purpose of some libraries which act as a quiet place to go for silent study or to check out materials. Pondo’s library is a place which wants students to come to learn and to socialize and to connect to the school; not just to check things out. Jennifer shared that they had to think about both the physical space and their purpose as a library staff. .
Here’s some of her early ideas:
“Light bulb idea #1: Ask my principal if I can be at the new teacher orientation next year.”
“Light bulb idea #2: See if I can embed myself into a new cohort of teachers”
Here are some of my photos from this trip. You will notice that is not the high end expensive flexible furniture and tech but from reading her blog, you will see how see even with a small budget and a purpose, you can create a shift.
I loved how it shows that she is also a reader and life long learner. It can be a conversation starter about books that can lead to connecting with kids which is always a win.
During my drive back home I said… “I’m making one of these for me and offering to do one for each of my teachers” (oh... I did ask Jennifer about this!)
And here is what I did.
I made this in Google Slides, shared with the staff in a video tutorial how to embed their Bitmoji using the Chrome extension and had them make their own slide. A few staff had me do this for them and others made their own. I picked up some of these stand on Amazon, printed them in color and then sent them over.
Want one for yourselves? Here is my template, feel free to make a copy and modify it as you wish. Customize yours too, for example I changed it a bit since I love listening to podcasts plus I talk about film in my video production class, so I put my most recently watched film.
I’d love to see yours!