Can I just say I love my library? I really do! I love the physical space that I work in now. When I was a classroom teacher, I also loved my classroom. I had my student desks all in neat little rows and beautiful, inspiring posters on the wall. I taught US history for many years and I loved it. I loved my students, I loved the school, and I loved the subject matter that I taught.
Being in the library is much different than being a classroom teacher. I find that my passion about the library I manage for my school is that I want it to be a safe, inviting place for ALL people to be . . . not just the students, but the teachers and staff as well. I want them to come in, have a seat, read a magazine, or just sit and visit a little bit. I want the students and staff of my school to feel they can come in with a joy to share or a problem to solve. I’m here for them through it all.
I sometimes joke about my school library being an academic version of that bar in the TV show Cheers. If you remember that old show, the lyrics to the theme song referred to the bar as a place “where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.” Teaching is one of the world’s most difficult, yet rewarding professions and being a teenager in today’s society is also very difficult. Sometimes, my students and staff just want to be where somebody knows who they are and what makes them tick.
My library has relaxation stations where people can just sit and read. We have tables and chairs where people can work and we have 23 desktop computers, two printers, a scanner, and many books and magazines for people to use for pleasure or research. My co-worker and I do everything that we can to provide support to both staff and students as they go through their day.
We have three distinct sections of the library which affords us the opportunity to serve three classes at the same time in the library. Between two of the three sections, we have a long book shelf. Every month, we feature different books on this book shelf. We decorate the shelf for whatever holiday there might be in the near future, or maybe just for the season. Books are faced outward so students and staff can see the cover and are encouraged to pick the books up and look at them. Most of the books that are checked out in the library are checked out from that book shelf.
I’ve added some pictures to this post which I hope will reflect the buzz of activity that I like to see in my library. I’ve had more than one person, usually an older adult, who has come into my library only to come to me and say, “Why is it so loud in here? I came thinking it would be quiet.” My standard response to these people is, “Have you met me? I am not quiet and I cannot expect people who come into my space to be quiet if I cannot be quiet.” There are some quiet times, but we like activity in our library and when there is student activity in the library, it is never quiet . . . and I LOVE that!