For a credit, the students are taking an after-school class called leadership and leisure studies. One of the classes offered in this first course (because heck if I want to put that off, I'd rather be stressed now because of it and then not have to do it later) is Library Beautification. The purpose of the class is two-fold:
one, to make the library more home-y and two, to give students the opportunity to make the library their own.
Working with the art teacher we're taking on a couple of things. We started with rearranging the shelves. Instead of just rows of shelves, we arranged the non-fiction section to wrap around a reading area and the fiction section to be separate. We also put shelves around the story area, with browsables* on them. For example, newspapers, magazines and, eventually, comic books.
The great thing is, this design was suggested by a couple of very ambitious students. We're talking students who took the whole first class to explain what they hoped for exactly.
The next project was creating labels for the non-fiction shelves. We used PowerPoint to basically create collages, so that students understand what those darn Dewey Decimal numbers mean. I'm in the process of getting these printed off and laminated.
While I'm working on labels, our art teacher is helping the other students paint a mural on the wall in the story area. It's a work in progress, but I'm excited for the students to take ownership of their library and contribute to it.
This week, my students chose a book to read and will write a review of it next week (really, they'll just fill out a form, to help teach them the basics of the review process). Then, over the course of the next couple of months, we'll display those reviews on top of the book return with recommendations for similar books.
I'm also really excited because I am getting floor cushions for the students to sit on, the head office called earlier this week to confirm the size I wanted, so it's definitely happening. Up next, I'm going to try to convince them that we need more couch-like seating. Currently we have plastic chairs and these oddly shaped suckers:
It's starting to come together, at least on the physical side, now I just need to get the older students (the 3-6th grades are here at every break, especially the younger ones) in here and reading more than just comic books and short non-fictions about smoking (seriously, the most checked out book in the library).
Best news this week, though, is that the temperature has dropped and it's now a nice 20 degrees Celsius every day. Perfect weather.
*is not a word, but should be.Chrome wants me to replace it with brow sables, as if those are words that go together.