all the things that libraries should be

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I’m far from an active library user, but I love what school libraries could be – an academic hub, a social space, a maker space (as Pam Moran showed the audience at a Design Thinking for Educators workshop recently), a place to be studious, a place to unwind, a place to stress out in, and a place to relax in. I really do believe that the library should be the center of every school, whether that library has more books than any other or has scrapped paper for e-ink, whether it is the most beautiful space or the ugliest. I love school libraries.

And I happen to be lucky enough to work with a librarian who – by sheer force of will more than anything that her space readily lets her do – makes the library a place that students want to be. It’s rare that she is actually in the library, and I mean that in a great way, instead taking every opportunity to do book talks with middle school students, helping our high school students with their research papers, and even teaching the occasional technology class. In a lot of ways, this is everything I think that a 21st century library should be, a place that is defined more by what happens around and because of it than in it.

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Seriously, how would you not want to find a new book to read from these choices? I’m constantly amazed by the care and attention that go into her library displays, really grabbing students and getting them invested in their library, so much so that they give up their days off to help reorganize the space.

What does your school library look like? Aside from being the place with all the books, what does your library do to enhance your school community?