Friday, September 23, 2016

Library Space Overhaul

If you weren't aware, the high school building has been under major construction for several months. There are brand new rooms and remodeled areas in nearly every corner of the building. But I was feeling a little left out in the library. The obvious solution was to overhaul the library we already had to make it new and fresh and more relevant to what students need.

The library as it has been for 10+ years since the high school was built.
Books on the interior side. Standing shelves angled creating lots of dead space. Nonfiction is split between wall and standing shelves.
Tables and chairs in the middle, under the skylight.
Computers on the exterior side of the library, also creating dead space between them. (not shown, guidance info area next to computers taking up a good size corner)
So this is what I've lived with in the 10 years I've been at SCC. Now I've never really been crazy about the layout what with the nonfiction books split between two areas of shelving and the amount of dead space in the room. The renovations in the rest of building finally gave me the push to say "No more! We need a change!"

So that's what I did. For a week in August 2016 I was shifting every single book, every table and chair, and even the standing book cases. Man, was it a big job!

Step 1 - Move all the nonfiction off of the wall shelves onto the floor so the fiction books could go there instead.

Step 2 - This was done simultaneously with step 1. Move the fiction books off the standing shelves onto the wall shelves so the standing shelves will be empty and movable (OMG, they would have been way to heavy with books on them!)

Here are the nonfiction books from 000-919 (a few thousand books)! 
I put the fiction on the wall as the nonfiction was cleared out. It took me 2 days to get the nonfiction onto the floor and the fiction on the wall shelves.

Step 3 - Clear off the nonfiction books from the standing shelves on the floor so ALL the standing shelves would be empty.
Ran out of room under the skylight, so in front of the wall shelves it was.
Now all the free standing shelves are empty!!!

Step 4 - Time to move the free standing shelves! I decided to keep them on the same side of the library as to avoid blocking the natural light from the windows. But I wanted to reorientate them to create more usable space.
Starting in back corner, moved them to be perpendicular/parallel to the wall shelves instead of angled.
I left enough space between a few of the standing shelves for tables and chairs.
How did I move them you may ask? The large magic furniture sliders worked AMAZING!

Step 5 - Move all the nonfiction books off the floor and onto the free standing shelves.
I had to start with 999 and work backwards to 0 because that's how they were laying out on the floor.

Step 6 - This step was done through the entire process - weeding. Weeding a library collection is when you remove books because they are inaccurate (computer books for instance), they are not used any longer (like the plethora of ghost story books we no longer need), or they are not checked out (like some of the fiction books that have fallen out of popularity). These books are removed from the collection and then set out for students and staff to have for free.
As I weeded I put books on the top of book shelves and the carts that followed me around.

Step 7 - I (with help from the tech guys) moved the computers under the skylight and was able to put a few tables between. One of the best things about the high school library layout is the number of floor outlets. It's awesome to be able to have the option to move the computers and students now use the floor outlets a lot when they need to charge their Chromebook.
Moving the computers was super easy with the floor outlets and Chad (our IT guy) got me the one extra internet port I needed too!

Step 8 - And then the tables went by the windows so students could work with natural light and enjoy the greenery.
Our plants are a nice addition that make the library feel homey.

Step 9 to ???
- Some other things that happened in the overhaul:
  • The DVD collection was moved onto its own media unit so students are better able to find movies and documentaries that they may be interested. The audiobook collection also resides on the unit.
  • The graphic novels were spread out on three bookcases allowing for more growth in the collection.
  • The guidance information corner was all moved out into the newly renovated guidance area. This freed up some space for the ......
  • Green screen area. This was added to a corner of the library for students to use for academic and personal projects. We are utilizing an iPad for recording and then students are able to upload footage to their Google Drive for further editing on their Chromebook.
  • Lastly, we made new signage for all the sections of the library so students and staff can easily find resources and reading materials.
Blue signs = fiction. Green signs = nonfiction. There are also book displays, a supply cart, and tables tucked in the book area.
The computers aren't used a ton, but are useful for students to print from or look up a book on Destiny. 
The media shelving unit has been a big draw for students and staff.
Also the A-frame shelf is new and currently displays the books for Battle of the Books and the book for One School One Book.
The tables get a lot of use for classes in the library as well as virtual education students who are scheduled in the library.
The green screen area should be a really useful tool that students and staff wouldn't normally have access to.
The graphic novels area long the wall, and the small free standing shelf holds our story collection and the professional books we have.

So that has been our library overhaul. It cost me some time, about $800 for a couple new shelving/display units, $1200 for the green screen kit and iPad, and a lot of determination. Students and staff have made several comments about how much bigger the library feels and how they really appreciate the new look. I hope it continues to prove a good change as the year progresses.

Thank you to the community for all the support you've given in the past to SCC and will continue to give in the future. You have no idea what it means to have you entrust us with the education of your students.

Have a great day and DFTBA!

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