The importance of a school library can never be overemphasised. According to the experts from the ACT Education Directorate, thriving school libraries help develop students who can locate, analyse and use information effectively. They introduce to students the important habits of reading, conducting valuable research and doing advance schoolwork during their free time.
However, while the school library plays a great role in the learning experiences of students, sometimes children need more inspiration to visit the facility. They may be struggling or reluctant readers or they would maybe rather spend their breaks somewhere else with their peers.
Here are several ways to set up a school library that will entice your students to come by every day and motivate them to read books and broaden their knowledge.
Books that will pull them in
The first priority in making your library a go-to place for break time is to ensure that your stock of books is current. It should also encompass a comprehensive range of genres that cater to all tastes. Many school libraries look well-stocked but you’ll find that there are seven copies of the same title. Older authors like Roald Dahl and CS Lewis are usually well-represented but newer and just as wonderful authors don’t appear on the shelves.
Updating your stock will create an immediate change in the attitude of your students towards reading. Comic books, young adult novels and graphic novels are popular and will entice even the most reluctant readers. For more scholarly titles, you can start with updated encyclopedias filled with visuals and abridged easy-to-read versions of the classics. If you want a comprehensive list of book titles for every year level, check out these book lists from the Victoria State Government’s Education website.
Once you begin filling the shelves with books students can relate to, they’ll visit the library regularly and spend their breaks reading instead of playing games on their mobile phones.
Floor chairs are becoming popular in classrooms as they allow students to find their best positions to stay focused, calm and productive. You can do the same for your library. Comfy seating options such as beanbags or piles of cushions can encourage kids to browse through the selections, curl up with a book and linger in the facility. You can also throw some blankets around for the students to wrap themselves in when they’re reading books or studying for exams.
Incorporating technology into the library space will add an exciting ambience and make the environment more up-to-date. This could be as simple as having a television that displays the front covers of your new stock or a tablet that shows titles from specific genres. You can also flash videos from Booktubers, as Youtubers who talk about books are more commonly called. They post book-unboxings, recommendations, reviews and monthly reading roundups.
Collaborative study spaces
Many students want to study in the company of others to stay socially connected. You can support this by installing flexible and self-customisable furnishing that encourages students to work and interact with one another. For instance, long tables that accommodate five or more people are great for group work activities. There are also collaborative desks designed to fit together in various arrangements. These desks can create clusters of two, four or six, providing students with comfortable group workspaces for all kinds of assignments and projects.
Libraries are the beating hearts of schools; they are spaces where knowledge, creativity and interaction work together. When designed as an important, exciting and welcoming place, they will positively impact the way students learn and collaborate.