Friday, 13 June 2008

The Most Modern Library

Take a gander at the "library concept center" called DOK in Delft, Holland. Its goal is to be the most modern library in the world, and I was drooling while reading the article about all if offers its patrons: multimedia chairs, rotating art exhibits, video games, an entire room dedicated to graphic novels, cafes (please let's get cafes in school libraries at some point!) and a groovy information dispenser called a TANK U.

Jenny from the Shifted Librarian wrote a great article about her recent visit there and all the amazingly different things she found in comparison to traditional libraries. It's got me thinking about how the idea of what a library should be is so archaic, yet so engrained in people's minds as a quiet place where kids go to learn or study or read quietly. And that's it for many people. In order to change how we think of libraries, perhaps changing the name is the perfect place to start. I'm heading to a new school in July, the International School of Bangkok, and they have recently changed the name of the library to the Learning Hub, or Hub for short. What a myriad of possibilities a new name invites...

image taken from Shifted Librarian

Sunday, 1 June 2008

A Near Brilliant Idea

Is there anything worse than a grumpy librarian hounding and nagging kids and teachers at the end of the year about returning books to the library? Stories have been shared with me about librarians getting their knickers in a twist about this, and I was determined in my first year as a librarian not to do that. So, I came up with a contest--the first 3 classes to get all their books in (teachers not included as I know they still need their books) would get a popcorn party and movie in the library. The lovely twist to this is that it motivated teachers just as much as students because the party gave them an extra prep time when they need it so desperately at this time of the year. The "Get Your Books Back" contest was a huge success, almost too huge with the chaos that ensued in the early morning moments after the busses arrived, but it was a great idea. Feedback received from teachers was so positive and appreciative that it will now become a tradition for me each year.

Parting words...librarians unite! Let's change some/many/all of the negative stereotypes about us!