20+ Back-to-School Resources for Librarians

20+ Back-to-school resources for librarians // Here's a curated list of posts and other resources to help you get ready for a new school year.

It’s back-to-school season!  Some schools have been back for several weeks while others are gearing up to go back. But no matter when you start back up, your mind is likely buzzing with the possibilities of a fresh school year.  The beginning of the year is a great time to try something new, whether it’s … Read more

5 Ways to Get Your Makerspace Ready for a New Year

5 Ways to Get Your Makerspace Ready : A new school year means new opportunities to get your makerspace ready for students. Here's some tips and tricks for sprucing things up and starting the year off strong.

It’s that time of year again – the first days of the school year will soon be upon us (and for some of you, it may already be here).  Getting ready for the year means pre-planning meetings, making photocopies, arranging class schedules and all the other good stuff that comes in August and September every … Read more

How to Create Conversation Zones to Support Learning Styles

How to Create Conversation Zones to Support Learning Styles : Our libraries support a variety of learning styles and activity. By creating conversation zones, we can better support the learning needs of ALL our students.

At Stewart, we had a pretty loud library.  There were robots racing through the stacks, the rustle of tubs of LEGOs being dug into, and the chatter of excited students talking about their favorite books and collaborating on projects.  At my current school, the previous culture of the library had been one where a whisper … Read more

Too Much Information: 3 Frustrating Problems With Signage

Good signage is vital in a learning space.  Ideally, your students should be able to walk into your space, look around, and find the things that they need without having to ask for help.  Realistically, I know that this isn’t usually what happens, but it’s the goal to aim for. In general, I would say … Read more

How to Create Collaborative Spaces in Your Library

How to Create Collaborative Spaces in Your Library // Here are five different things you can do to create collaborative spaces to support your students in your library.

Our libraries are no longer solely the silent, individual study zones that they used to be.  More and more schools are recognizing the value of collaboration, and the library can be the perfect place to support it.  But traditional library environments (think heavy wooden individual tables, tall, imposing stacks, etc) don’t really provide a collaborative … Read more

3 Ways Visiting Vendor Showrooms Can Inspire Your Space

Most of us probably have something in our library space that we want to change.  Or many things that we want to change. It can be daunting trying to figure out where to start and what you want your space to become.  That’s why I always recommend gathering inspiration for your space. Visiting other spaces, … Read more

Why Our Learning Spaces Matter

Why Our Learning Spaces Matter : We need to stop worry about money, convenience and tradition. The spaces in which our students learn matter, and we need to make them better.

Educational environments have been stuck for far too long.  For decades, we have settled for beige concrete boxes. Little natural sunlight and fresh air.  Desks arranged in rows because it makes for the most efficient cleaning, rather than asking what makes for the most productive learning environment.  Our libraries are boxes with walls lined with … Read more

Read this Book: The Space: A Guide for Educators

Read this Book: The Space: A Guide for Educators | The Space is an amazing resource on learning space design. It helps educators to learn to think as designers, to co-design their spaces with their students and to create learning spaces that are inclusive of ALL their students.

When educators and designers get together to write a book on learning spaces, amazing things happen.  Many books on learning space design focus on lots of gorgeous photos of expensively renovated school environments, language to use with architects or projects that are amazing, but not always easy to replicate.  The Space takes a different approach. … Read more

AASL Post: Why You Should Weed More Than Just Books at the End of the Year

Why You Should Weed More Than Just Books at the End of the Year | The end of the year is a time for reflecting, cleaning up and getting ready for a new school year. It's a great time to re-evaluate not only your collection, but the other physical objects within your library

Click on over to AASL Knowledge Quest to read the full post, or scroll down to read a summary. [W]e can create more space in our library by getting rid of un-needed shelving, tables, and other furniture… [T]he space can feel cleaner and fresher by changing up the decor. But sometimes, making these changes in … Read more

AASL Post: How to Create a More Flexible Seating Environment

How to Create a More Flexible Seating Environment | Creating a diverse array of flexible seating options in our libraries improves student learning. Here's some advice on how to get started.

“[I]magine how your students feel when they walk into your learning space. Are there comfortable seating options available? Is there a good variety to support both groups and individuals? Or are all the chairs uncomfortable and crammed tightly together?” In my post for AASL Knowledge Quest, I share the stories of two different airport experiences. … Read more