I'm a new librarian and want to fix my library up to be an exciting/happy yet calming place to visit by first to fifth graders. The walls are plain. Have any suggestions???
(Photo: Lida Rose)
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We absolutely WISH you had sent us a pic, but we try our best anyway. Having worked in schools for seven years, we know that what you can do may be seriously hampered by the powers that be, so we'll keep it simple.
Libraries are for concentration, calmness and mindfulness, so your goal should be to avoid needless stimulation, keep the room uncluttered and add a little inspiration.
- Paint the walls in a soft, cool off-white color as cool colors are calming.
- Add some artwork (not too much) that is quality and inspires the act of reading. Since books deal with our memories and past thoughts, old or antique scenes are good, scenes from famous books or events are good and old papers or artifacts are good. Keep it specific. Hang art that children will get close to and "read". Avoid cheap poster or silly prints of famous actors sitting with books to prove that reading is good for you.
- Display good books! Constantly changing the lineup of recommended books (and showing off their book jacket art) will bring freshness and liveliness to the room.
- Keep the books organized! Since a library is mainly bookshelves, which become the strongest visual element in the room, it is important that they are kept neatly. When children enter the library, they should get the message on all levels that books are to be respected and taken care of.
- Have a globe. So much of reading is about travelling to far off places. Having a globe in the room will not only be an attractive focal point, it will get children looking up the places in the world they are reading about and make them a bit more familiar with the world outside of school.