Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Some Favorite Spaces in the LIbrary

If you read yesterday's post, you know I have rearranged some things to better match the library space to the vision we have for it. Today I decided to share some of my favorite spaces for students.

This is my new favorite space in the library. I wanted a space to have that cafe feel for the kids. Our library looks out to a great courtyard. When I arrived, there were bookshelves against the window so the view from the windows was blocked. We moved shelves to open up that space last year. This year, I am adding tables and stools that overlook the courtyard. The tables I chose do not block the view or the light and I think it creates a great workspace for kids. I envision kids writing, sketching, working on laptops, etc. I imagine kids can work alone or with a partner in this area and the courtyard view will add to the feel of the space.
These stackable tables provide great spaces for many kinds of work. Because they are such a great size, they can be moved around often. I sometimes use them as temporary displays on the ends of bookshelves. I put new books or games on these as invitations for exploration. But the reason I really love these tables is because they allow children to create the spaces they need, where they need them. They are small enough for kids to take to any are of the library to work. If a child needs a quiet space, they can create one. The tables are also a great size for building and they make great game tables. I love the flexibility that they provide.

One of the things we needed was a larger space for sharing and for storytellers and guests who visit the library. We figured out a way to create a great space, but then the space seemed too big for times when it wasn't being used campfire style. The 3 large rugs make the space look a bit less empty. The rugs provide an anchor and they also allow for various groups of kids to be in this space together. (As you can see, they are not totally spread out as they are still partially rolled under as they straighten out.) Eventually, the comfy pillows, etc. could be stored here and the space is divided in a way that gives it good flexibility.

This is a great little space that is actually part of the big space. The shelves around it store building toys and games and the low table was quite popular last year. Since it is so large, it accomodates quite a few kids. It is a great place to read, play games, create stopmotion on laptops, etc. The pillows in the background will need a new space but this has been a space where kids enjoy working.

I love this little table tucked in this quiet spot. It is a great size and invites lots of great collaboration. Lots of kids use it as a spot to share books together. This table tends to get moved often but no matter where it lands, kids gather around it with books.


  1. It looks wonderful! I really love the counter with stools; it's exactly how I pictured it when you were describing it.

  2. I love what you are doing. So lucky to have windows. I have none. Where did you get the table and litlle stools? IKEA?

  3. Spaces are so important! They tell our students who we are, who we imagine they are and what our relationship will be about. I'm inspired to go to my classroom this afternoon and be sure I have thought carefully about this.

  4. love it.... lots of space!

  5. Thanks Franki for all your thoughts on setting up your library. Such thoughtful work you always do... love it!

  6. It is funny how summers go. I thought I would blog a lot and comment on many, but neither happened. I did read the Third Teacher and passed it on to my principal. We have a new learning landscape and edible classroom (I lobbied hard for this!), so the book was very timely. Thanks! Any suggestions for on line vocabulary sites? I want to incorporate tech into my literacy block.

    Thanks again for all you do.



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