Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A change is as good as ... a new library!

One of the major developments in our library space over the last weeks of last term was to rearrange the secondary library space.

The space had been set up from the very beginning as 8 shelves of 4 and 3 bays in a row. A very traditional set up which no longer met the needs of the students. We also had an opportunity for a rethink due to inheriting some space from a vacating department which would increase our seating space by at least 60 students. We wanted to give the library a revamp after it being the same for 7.5 years.

Books lined up along the
walls in order
The first shelves moved in
their new location
We spent a number of hours trying to work with Sketch up and then cut out to scale models to move the shelving and furniture around. This is where shelving on wheels would be so much easier to change things around. We finally decided on where the shelves would go. Time to put it into action.

On one Friday afternoon we had enlisted 14 student volunteers to remove the books from 2 of the non fiction shelves, then the removal team came in to move the shelves into the desired location. The students then replaced the books on the shelves. The process to move 2x4 bay shelves was 3 hours.

As we proceeded, the students devised ideas to improve efficiency for the next move which we took on board.

Over the next week we numbered the remaining 6 shelves and the blocks of books that would go on these shelves. We also had one 4 bay shelf cut down to a 3 bay shelf to assist with the layout.

Books everywhere
A valuable CAS student
helping out
The following Friday we again removed all the books from the remaining 2 nonfiction shelves, and 4 fiction shelves. The removal team came in and we moved the shelves. Unfortunately, due to power outlets in the floor, (if you are designing a library - NEVER put power outlets in the floor unless your shelves are on wheels) we could not place the shelves exactly where we wanted them, but we settled with an alternate plan.

The books were all over the library. It took us about 3 hours to move the last 6 shelves and replace the books with only 5 volunteers using the plan of action the students devised.

The fiction section was to be in a square around the column in the middle of the room, with a lounge around the column inside the shelving making a fiction reading nook.  The non fiction shelving was to be divided by a large table and lounge. The fiction and non fiction sections had been separated, the working space moved slightly to the back of the library and the lounge was to be divided and smaller pockets of collaborative spaces were created. This was to replace a large area of lounge space which was a very noisy space and tended to be commandeered by older students.

Shelves being emptied for
moving to the new location
 On Monday morning we cleaned up the remaining mess and waited for the reaction from the students at recess. All the hard work was worth it when one student walked into the room and shouted

"I love it!" "I love this new layout"

We have been doing some informal questioning and overall the students are very positive about the changes. They like the smaller pockets of work spaces, they like how the fiction is easier to access and we have noticed the non fiction is being accessed more. As part of this move we also increased the number of slatwall acrylics to increase the front facing display.

We also moved the photocopiers to a black spot of space in a small area near the bathrooms, and users of the large table appreciate having more natural light.

Overall we are very happy with the new co-ordinated look of the library. Have a look at the slideshow below and see what you think.

The bottom image is a mud map of the changes we made. We will receive the new furniture for the new focus area soon.


Hong Kong Megs said...

Love it Dianne!! Love what you did to the fiction area and also the nonfiction area. Good for you. No grass grows under your feet!!

Dianne said...

Thanks Hong Kong Megs - it was a team effort! The students love the Fiction nook, it is like a little hiding place for them and gives the Fiction, graphic novels and Chinese Language Fiction much better exposure to the students.