amphitheaterSummer vacation is officially over! For the last week I have been constantly engaged in new teacher orientation activities at ISB. We’ve been wined and dined and orientated to every possible aspect of the school imaginable from culture, to banking, to technology. Although it’s all been very interesting (and extremely thorough), I’ve been anxiously awaiting my chance to get to work in our absolutely stunning new library media center.

Back in January, when I was hired, we started talking about how we could completely and totally re-design the existing (dark, crowded, and old) ES library to bring our school into the 21st century. As I viewed (from KL) the architect’s plans and watched various slide shows emphasizing certain design elements for the space, I honestly could not imagine that the school would be able to accomplish such an amazing change in just two months (during summer vacation). I was wrong. We still need to put in the books and add some finishing touches, but the new library is finished exactly according to expectations and it is definitely the jewel of the elementary school! I am beyond excited about developing this new, fully equipped, resource – the possibilities are endless!

colorful shelvingRight now our main goal is to make the library media center the hub for all forms of literacy in the elementary school. We have four beautiful spaces that flow together to combine a truly unique learning environment. We have a full computer lab area with relatively new iMacs, a project area with tables and chairs (both spaces have a SmartBoard and fixed data projector), a soft seating area with snazzy hanging bubble chairs, and a rainbow colored, stepped amphitheater with round window seat portals. Every aspect of the design aesthetic is exciting, inviting, and eye-catching.

Given my technology background, my goal is to help merge emerging and traditional forms of literacy within this one space. We are going to make use of the computer lab area as well as a set of laptops when we’re in the library, along with the multiple sets of laptop carts that are distributed to every elementary grade level for use in the classrooms. I’m going to continue my collaborative, project-based style of teaching and learning and start expanding that to include the wide variety of resources available in the library.

hanging aroundAlong with the technology piece of the puzzle, we have a fantastic librarian (who has been at ISB for the last 19 years) to continue the literature connections with our students. Our plan is to start the year leading with our strengths to get the space up and running and then learn from each other as we go along. Hopefully by the end of the year we’ll have two librarians well versed in both emerging and traditional forms of literacy enjoying a simply spectacular learning hub!

Does anyone else have any experience in a library like ours? Any advice or suggestions on how to operate our program? Where should we start? What mistakes should we avoid?

17 thoughts on “Back to School

  1. Wowee! That’s amazing and beautiful. I would have LOVED a space like that as a kid- actually, I’d love it now.

    I can’t wait to see pics of it populated with kids. :)

  2. Wow, Kim. The library is gorgeous.

    Curious: can students climb through those holes in the bookshelves by the stage? Or are they nooks to curl up in? Both?

    Happy to see you happy :)

  3. What an amazing space for learning. I am incredibly jealous! It is good to see that people are starting to move towards learning these new literacies. I can only hope that my own district will start moving this way soon. Good luck.

  4. Wow Kim! Cool blog- love to see the thinking starting now! Once we get the books in, we can get the kids in and get them connecting to the future of media literacy. Keep up the superb thinking and connecting.

  5. Hi Kim, really enjoyed reading your blog. some really good sites to connect with. Look forward to doing some planning together soon.

  6. I love those bubble chairs! This looks like a seriously cool place to hang out! Looking forward to reading what you do with this fantastic space! PS: Welcome back to work mode!

  7. Hey Kim, what a wonderful new space for you. It seems like just the thing for you to sink your teeth into. Today was the first day of meetings for our World Village project and I can’t thank you enough for all of the guidance you have provided in the way of this blog. I referenced so many of the structures (UBD) and tools (yackpack, your wikis) that you have created. We’re humming right along. Hope you’re settling into your new place. Congratulations.

  8. Oh Kim, I am loving reading about life in Bangkok. I am so envious of your cool new space to teach, and that each grade level has a laptop cart. I’m hoping next year’s budget allows me to provide carts for our library and for our music department.

    I want a bubble chair!

  9. Hi Kim – I had the pleasure of doing a brief your of you new library media space with my mother (Jeanette) over christmas and came away inspired – at HKIS we are discussing renovating our libraries over this summer and at ISB you have certainly set the bar high for school hubs for literacy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge