by Librarians Katy Vance and Viki Radford
“The library is an arena of possibility, opening both a window into the soul and a door onto the world.”
— Rita Dove
As librarians, we take pride in the arenas of possibility our library opens up to all members of our YIS community. The library is a central hub for our school: a cosy space for students, teachers and parents. On any day, it is guaranteed to be filled with people reading, researching, making, meeting, socializing, eating and playing games. As we move from our current well-loved space into a new state-of-the-art building, we want to maintain the warm community feeling of our current library while taking advantage of all that a purpose-built space with carefully curated furniture has to offer.
Our library is so much more than a physical hub: it acts as a door to the world through its collection. We’ll be continuing to develop our library collection to meet the diverse needs of our students, for research and reading for pleasure. Our new space also means an opportunity for new organization. We’re looking forward to more front-facing shelves designed to display our collection at its best; and we’ll be enriching the new campus hub areas with satellite collections and self-checkout stations, meaning wherever you are in our school, you’ll always be close to a book. Circular lily pad-like areas leading down from the main library area into the lower elementary hub will be bordered by shelves and seating that make spaces equally suitable for group learning, reading for pleasure - or even performance!
Well-spaced, clearly labeled, mobile shelves will enable our space to be adaptable: creating nooks for quiet independent study, and small groups working in between shelves. We’ll also be able to roll shelves out to the edges of the library to accommodate large groups from all parts of the YIS community for meeting, learning, and celebration. The multi-purpose furniture will empower students to take control of their library learning and make the space work for them. Additionally, we aim to have as connected a space as possible by allowing students to be plugged in and mobile, whether they’re curled up in a bean bag, or hidden away in a small group study booth.
Key to meeting the needs of our community will be the library as a flexible space with flexible furniture. This will allow us to host author visits and community meetings in an amphitheater style seating space. Whatever you’re looking for, our library will be able to help you find it; whether it’s reading nooks that will really allow you to get lost in a book with a friend; private-in-public spaces that give you the peace and quiet you need to pursue your research and study; or small group meeting areas for clubs and project teams to work collaboratively.
As we look towards the future, we are delighted to take the best parts of our library with us; to use our enhanced space to provide all members of the YIS community with doorways to new worlds, new experiences, and new possibilities!
This is the second article in a series elaborating on the design of the facilities at our new campus, and their contribution towards improving learning for students, staff and parents at YIS.