Skip to main content

Doing a Lot with a Little: “Make” a Welcoming Library

It seems like whenever you are giving a presentation at a conference, you’re essentially trying to take people on a field trip to your library. I remember the year I presented on makerspaces at the UELMA annual conference I felt like I brought half of my tools and supplies from my space to try and replicate the experience for my audience!

UELMA is the Utah Educational Library Media Association, an organization for the school librarians in the state of Utah. I’ve been on their board for the past three years, and it’s been fun to get to know some librarians from other districts. Because of the pandemic, our annual conference was virtual this year (search for #UELMA21VIRTUAL). I convinced a few of my fellow librarians to join me in really taking advantage of the online conference format, and use it as an opportunity to take people on a virtual tour of our spaces!

The four of us represent a variety of experiences and situations, and we have all had to plan new spaces recently. I opened my high school library five years ago. Joy and Wendy both opened their new libraries last year, Joy at a middle school and Wendy at a high school (you’ll notice our floor plans are the same!). Sam renovated an extremely outdated library (in fact, the one at the high school I attended!) then found himself in a portable classroom for three years while his high school is being rebuilt, so he too will be opening a new space soon when the rebuild is complete.

At the conclusion of the conference, they uploaded all of the presentations to YouTube so librarians could watch them when it was convenient. So now I get to invite you to our virtual tour as well!

Opening a new library, or revitalizing an older one, can be a challenge…how do you build an inviting space while also trying to build a collection? If you don’t mind applying some creativity and elbow grease, you can build a beautiful library that also models a maker mindset for your students. In our presentation, the four of us share strategies for making a big impact…without making a big dent in your budget. We take you on a video tour of each of our libraries so you can see these ideas in action. Enjoy!

Popular Posts