January 27, 2015

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Bold in Every Setting| Editorial


The four stand-out programs recognized by SLJ and LEGO Education’s Build Something Bold design award reinforce the case for strong school libraries.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Locke Jetspace: L.A. School “Library of the Future”


A Los Angeles high school’s 3,000 square foot library renovation project, “Locke JetSpace,” aims to redefine the way students can learn.

Arapahoe High School Unveils New Library and Park


Arapahoe High School in Littleton, Colorado, rebuilds its library and gets a new outdoor commons, after a tragic high school shooting last December.

Missouri Science & Technology Student’s Class Assignment Leads to Lavish Children’s Library Mural

Missouri S&T senior biological sciences major Lara Edwards created a mural around the children's library at the Rolla Public Library. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Missouri University of Science and Technology student Lara Edwards’s school assignment resulted in a vibrant and detailed mural for the Leola Millar Children’s Library in Rolla, Missouri.

Amazing Reading Nooks: Create Cozy, Inventive Reading Havens in Your Library


Something about the act of reading calls out for a safe, snug, and comfortable spot. SLJ explores an array of exceptional reading nooks, in libraries from the United States to Australia.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Berkeley Eighth Graders Raise Over $78K on Kickstarter, Build a School Library


The eighth-grade students at a charter school in Berkeley, CA, designed and crowd-funded their own school library, complete with student-conceived geometric shelving, furniture, and more.

SLJ and LEGO Education Launch Library Design Competition

SLJ Lego Building Something Bold

The “Build Something Bold” Library Design Award seeks innovators in the field of space use, resources, and programming in both libraries and classrooms around the United States.

Stationary Bikes Join Books in Virginia School Library


Thanks to four new recumbent bicycles installed at the school library at Falls Church (VA) High School, students can fit in some physical activity while simultaneously catching up on reading and schoolwork.

Detroit School Library Named After Ellen DeGeneres


The Detroit Achievement Academy in Michigan announced that it is naming its library in Ellen DeGeneres’s honor because of her philanthropic work and advocacy for its students. Only in its first year of existence, the charter school and its 28-year-old cofounder, Kyle Smitley, were featured as part of the “Inspirational Story” segment on The Ellen Show.

Fresh Paint: Moving Forward, Looking Back


In her final Fresh Paint column, teen services librarian April Layne Shroeder reflects on the accomplishments of Loudoun County’s Gum Spring Library branch’s inaugural teen-only space.

Stockholm’s Tio Tretton Library Gives Tweens a Space of Their Own


At a tween-only library in Stockholm, the only patrons allowed are children between 10 and 13—a group that often feels too old for children’s sections but not yet ready for full-on YA experiences.

Inflato Dumpsters Provide Mobile Lab Space | Design Innovation

Inflato Dumpster

John Locke’s Department of Urban Betterment (DUB) is behind the 2012 installation of mini-libraries in New York City telephone booths. Now DUB is at it again with the concept and design of the Inflato Dumpster, giving the phrase “dumpster diving” a whole new meaning.

Design to Learn By: Dynamic Early Learning Spaces in Public Libraries

Roger Mastroianni Photography

A design revolution is reinventing the children’s room in public libraries and changing the way young children learn. This new breed of literacy-packed play spaces in libraries is inspired by children’s museums and the developmental theories that drive them.

We’re Ready for You! Planning for Summer Reading | Fresh Paint


The Summer Reading Program is Loudon County Public Library’s biggest event of the year, and for the first time, residents of the Gum Spring area will have the chance to experience it at our new library. We’re hoping for a record turn-out for our 9-week program, In Your Backyard… and Beyond.

Fresh Paint: Doors Wide Open

Gum Spring opening day

Opening Day of Loudon County Library’s newest facility, Gum Spring Library, has come and gone. More than 6,500 people checked out 14,000 materials in just under five and a half hours, and we issued over 1,100 library cards. And those are just the tangible statistics! Teens finally found a place in their community to call their own! Caretakers can now stop driving 25 minutes to the nearest storytime! An entire region of northern Virginia learned what it feels like to have free resources available to them in their own backyard. The looks of amazement and happiness that I saw on Opening Day filled me with amazement and happiness. The Gum Spring Library has arrived, and we’re open for business!

Fresh Paint: We Have Arrived

Gum Spring Library

As this article goes live, we are three—count ‘em!— three days away from opening the new Gum Spring Library. I’ve been here since mid-January, and I’m just beginning to realize that the expectations I had in my head were way off base. Between preparing volunteers, planning opening day activities, and training pages, few things have gone exactly as planned. Yet despite the many changes we’ve made in our schedule, our confidence grows as we learn what must be done now and what can wait.

Fresh Paint: A New Building, a New Team, a New Me


My father is a Marine, so by the time I was eight I was quite adept at packing up my things. I vividly remember when we moved to Beaufort, SC. It was 1996, and it was the first time I ever took advantage of a move. Instead of trashing my old clothes and childish toys, I fixed up parts of my personality that needed improvement and tried out some new traits. I asked people to call me “Al”, giving the role of tomboy a spin. I also spoke up a little more and put myself in more social situations. I used this experience to invent a whole new me.

Fresh Paint: Teen Volunteers—Priceless

Gum Spring Library

Volunteers are a critical component of the public library organization. At my branch, nearly 20 percent of the shelving is completed by adult and teen volunteers. Each month teens log an average of 125 volunteer hours, which is comparable to having an additional staff member. We have volunteers at work nearly every open hour during the summer, and on evenings and weekends during the school year. Their dedication is tireless. Their value? Priceless.

Sandy & Libraries: Photos of Libraries in the Storm’s Aftermath

People charging up phones at library

Sandy blasted through the East Coast from October 28-29 leaving its record-breaking mark. Despite major damage, libraries have risen to the challenge of serving their communities, offering internet access, electrical power, and even storytime.

Fresh Paint: Works Well with Others


The public library is an information center providing resources that the community needs and wants. To know exactly what the community needs and wants the library relies on comment cards, conducts online surveys, and closely follows local issues and trends. But what if there are no customers to poll, no users for librarians to have a discussion with? This is exactly the situation that my library system is currently facing, because we are building a library where there has never been one (for many, many miles) and therefore there are no statistics, surveys, or discussions to base our collection, preliminary programming, or resource needs.