The Great Library Makeover: Part 2

The Great Library Makeover

Back in August I blogged Part 1 of how we’ve been making over our library this year.  We’ve been really busy since then with lots of good changes, including new computers and narrower library shelves in the fiction section.  Part 2 is going to focus more on our new flexible, collaborative instruction space.  Part 3 will be about our Maker Corner.

Our new Bretford tables
Our new Bretford tables


The Furniture

I first blogged about receiving our Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant back in May.  At the beginning of this year, we got our new tables and chairs in, and they’ve really transformed our learning space.  As a refresher, here’s what the new tables and chairs are:

  • 6 Bretford Explore Flip and Nest tables (ETA: No longer manufactured)
  • 4 Bretford Explore Quarter Round whiteboard tables (ETA: No longer manufactured)
  • 40 Classroom Select stacking chairs

We also got a Bretford Explore 4-leg Scale-up table (ETA: No longer manufactured), but I haven’t taken any pictures of it yet.

The new tables and chairs offer a variety of layouts
The new tables and chairs offer a variety of layouts


My library is pretty small, and my school doesn’t have an auditorium or large meeting room, so our instruction space has to be super flexible.  All the new tables are on casters, and all the chairs can stack, making it considerably easier to rearrange and reset the area.  I’ve been experimenting with different layouts.  Already we’ve had a theater layout for video conferencing, small group layout for classes, and conference style for meetings.  My principal also purchased an interactive short throw projector to go over our whiteboard (which we moved here from the copy room after taking down some bookshelves).  Once the projector is installed, we’ll have even more space since the presentation cart won’t have to be in the middle of the floor.

Our new tables in action
Our new tables in action


My students have been loving the new space.  Already I’ve seen them taking ownership of it. Using the whiteboards to jot notes for homework.  Moving chairs around to different groups.  They haven’t really started rearranging the tables themselves yet  – I think the fact that the chairs aren’t on casters is hindering this.  I’m looking into some grants to get chairs on casters – I’ll move the blue ones over to the computer lab when we get that.

Another thing I noticed was that, at first, my students didn’t realize that the corner tables were whiteboards.  I put out some dry erase markers last week, and now they’ve started using them to brainstorm more.   I plan on working the tables into lessons as well.

Overall, I love how our new furniture has increased the activity and flexibility of our space.   I’m excited to continue to make more changes and tweaks to make our environment even more student friendly.

What changes would you love to make to your library instruction space if money was no object?

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