Saturday, September 10, 2011
Photo of Discovery College Library taken by Dianne McKenzie, modified using http://tiltshiftmaker.com/.
Recently I had the opportunity to attend a Kevin Hennah workshop on reinventing the school library. It was a whole day workshop with over one thousand slides of ideas and successful reinventions.
Kevin then had a full day consultation in our library where he walked around with me, discussing what changes we could make regarding signage, displays and making the library sleek and a cool space for the students to hang out. As we have a new library, there was not much requirement for new shelving and big ticket items.
Kevin has a couple of favourite items that he advocates - get rid of paper signage and displays, use vinyl custom designs stickers where possible, remove the dust covers from shelves, and use interesting colours, textures and fabrics in the library furniture and as many front facing books as you can get into the library, using mainly slat wall.
He is coming from a corporate background where he has spent many years working with companies like 'The Body Shop' to make their stores better and to sell more. His ideas were great, and we will be adopting some of them in our library, particularly the slat wall (if we can find a supplier in HK that will sell us less than 200 pieces). Many of his ideas were permanent changes, with limited opportunities for change for current event celebrations like Mid Autumn festival, Roald Dahl's birthday etc. so, I will be taking his ideas, but trying to make sure we still have the flexibility for fun and educational displays to the space which the students love.
Kevin left us with many ideas, and one of the biggest hurdles would be having the creative abilities to turn these ideas into actual changes to the library, and thankfully we have just employed someone who is working with us 2 days a week purely as a creative assistant to help us with displays - both physical and digital. She is a graphic designer who has worked in advertising. After only two days she has thought of ideas to complement Kevin's to transform the space, the first of these is to transform the returns box we have outside the library on the ground floor.
Printing is dirt cheap and extremely good quality in Hong Kong with a variety of mediums to choose from, so we will be taking advantage of this to create vinyl stickers, foam board covers and large banners to move away from the paper displays. I will be posting before and after photos so you can share the journey.
I am also collecting images for inspiration of the transformation on Pinterest - a tool which I am loving!