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Unique & Other Decorating Ideas-
Decorating does not have to break the bank. Painting new colors
is oneway to freshen up a library and make a huge impact without
spendingtons of money. Other great places to shop for decorations
are Walmart, dollar stores, and www.orientaltrading.com or other
websites like it.
If you have more time than money, consider speaking with
store managers (they have a tendency to give discounts when asked).
Buy seasonal and holiday decorations right after the season ends
to get deep discounts.
Garage sales can have all kinds of decor treasures that may need
just a little fine-tuning. Getting ideas from others and then figuring
out how to make a cheaper version yourself can save money and then
you can tailor it to your needs.
Also, don't forget to check with parents for donations and to help
volunteer to decorate. Check out our Fundraising section to get ideas
on how to drum up some of your own money!
Here are some decorating ideas:
Seasonal & Other Themes-
Most school libraries have one theme throughout or section themes
(which may or may not relate to a large theme). Seasonal and holiday
themes help keep the environment interesting because they change
frequently and keep the patrons interested.
Below are some ideas for both:
Most school libraries are one large room with a few back rooms for
storage, office, workroom, etc. In order to get the most out of your
space, you have to create areas within your large space. Placing these
areas in the correct locations can make a huge difference in the
library's environment and the way it feels to the patrons. Below are
some ideas for the most common areas in a secondary library.
By using chairs, couches, shelves, floor lamps, coffee tables, plants,
area rugs, etc., you can create reading areas.
These are best in low traffic areas.
See ideas below:
Computer areas tend to structure themselves because they must be
near outlets, etc. Unlike reading areas, it is best to have computers
away from windows and lots of light. The heat can damage equipment
and light can reflect off of the screens making it difficult to see.
Here are some computer area examples:
Presentation screens and equipment also need to be away from
additional light and heat. It is best to have this area away from
constant traffic which can be distracting. If it is possible to have
this area in a separate room, that is even better. If you are
working within a large space in the library, tall book shelves make
excellent buffers for sound and other possible distractions. You
may also consider investing in portable/moveable walls.
Here are some examples:
Group Study Areas-
This area is general full of tables that seat 2-6 patrons at each.
It is fine to have this area in a more open space and near traffic.
Here are some ideas:
Individual Study Areas-
Areas for individuals is a great way to fill up small corner spaces,
or small spaces in quiet areas. When patrons are studying on their
own, they prefer no distractions. Here are some ideas:
Gaming & Hang Out Areas-
Some patrons come to the library just to hang out or play.
Creating lounging areas with games like chess, checkers, etc.
can help these students know where this is ok. These areas are
great for space in high traffic zones. Here are some ideas:
Placing tables near your reference books section can help
patrons when they are researching offline and also give them
another area to layout out materials, papers, etc. when they are
working on an assignment.
Most of us know that the best place to have the circulation desk
is near the doors and at the front of the library where it can be
found easily in this high traffic area.
Here are some additional ideas for circulation:
Project Work Center-
You can also provide your patrons with a way to be organized
and finish their projects/paper. Having a work station set up
near the circulation desk can allow patrons to serve themselves
or ask for help when it's needed. This also allows the librarian to
monitor the use of the station. Here are some ideas: