Take a Walk through a World of Words
When students at Aberdeen Elementary walk to their gym class or computer lab, they get the opportunity to walk through the very heart and centre of the school, the library. Unlike other school libraries that are located in a separate room, the Aberdeen Elementary Library is physically laid out in such a way that almost all the hallways leave from the library.
“Our library is in the middle of the school and we have just under 400 students navigating their way through the library on a daily basis, to get to other classes,” explains Rae Carter, the Teacher Librarian at Aberdeen Elementary. “The building was built in the 1980’s and it was specifically constructed to have the library as the hub of the school.”
Carter explains that the previous librarian had done a great job a creating a dynamic and interesting space for the students, especially considering the complications that can arise with that much traffic flowing through the space.
“We’ve designed it in such a way so that it’s very visual and uses perimeter shelving for easy accessibility. This creates a nice open flow with lots of room to move,” notes Carter. “It’s amazing how much the children notice when we create enticing display spaces with posters, book jackets and other visually engaging resources.”
To make things simpler for the students, the easy picture books and all fiction are located on one side of the hall and the non-fiction books can be found on the other side. This simple design makes it much easier for younger children to understand the difference. The best part is that the design allows for more students to become interactive.
“Intermediate students regularly use the library as it gives them a place to gather rather than the hallways,” admits Carter. “We’ve also tried to create a fun and cozy place for primary students with comfortable chairs, easily movable furniture and interesting shaped tables. This helps to facilitate collaborative group work and draws them into the area.”
Besides all of these print learning resources, Aberdeen Elementary also has access to digital learning resources like World Book, EBSCO and other resources in the BC Digital Classroom suite. To help the students access these resources for studies and homework, both in class and remotely from home, district teacher-librarians came up with a great idea. Why not create a bookmark that easily identifies the resources for elementary students on one side and resources for secondary students on the other side?
Library Coordinator, Andrea Wallin and Graphic Technician, Carlo Sia, along with the help of print shop staff, jumped on the idea and put together the design:
Now the design is tweaked slightly every year depending on what databases the district subscribes to. Best part is that every child gets a bookmark that provides remote access 24/7 to the resources they need and use and they can find their individual login and password written right on their bookmark. So why not learn from Aberdeen Elementary and try something different that works!