By Ken Stoflet, Communications Specialist
“A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.”
– Lemony Snicket
School libraries are the beating hearts of so many schools. They are places where students can unearth newfound interests, learn more about something they have been just itching to explore further, or simply unwind with a good book. While libraries provide space for all this, they would be nothing without the incredible people working in them. We asked our librarians in the Renaissance Royals™ community how they decorate their libraries and inspire student learning. Below are just a handful of the wonderful responses we have received.
Virginia Wiedenfeld, a school librarian at a Catholic school in Texas, brainstorms with students’ parents to come up with different themes at the beginning of each school year. Together, Virginia and some of the parents landed on “Saddle Up and Read” as the theme for this year. To decorate, parents brought in old cowboy boots and straw to make centerpieces throughout the school’s library. In addition, random Wild West trivia was scattered around the room. Virginia says, “We also gathered up some bandanas and shelf markers that say, ‘Round Up Some Great Books!’” Students have the opportunity to earn Renaissance Accelerated Reader® certificates if they are one of the top point earners over the summer. Each one says, “Great job, pardner,” and includes free Whataburger coupons from the San Antonio Spurs basketball team. How does Virginia tie it all together? “I dress up and wear a vest saying, ‘Reading Sheriff!’”
Krystal Dozier, a media specialist in Alabama, transforms her library into a place for superheroes to gather. Throughout the library, there are posters depicting different superheroes motivating students to read, superhero wreaths hanging on the door, and superhero quotes dangling from the ceiling. In fact, Krystal’s reading chair is decorated with a Wonder Woman theme! Outside the library, there’s a display showcasing the names of students who reach their Accelerated Reader goals.
Psst: Elementary educators are superheroes. Don’t believe us? Check out this free superhero-themed infographic.
Mary Meyer, a school librarian in Missouri, rotates themes. In the past, her library has done The Wizard of Oz (complete with a yellow brick road and ruby slippers), The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (with coats hanging in the entrance to the wonderful library of Narnia), Dr. Seuss, Winnie-the-Pooh, superheroes, Captain Underpants, and much more. Mary says, “I pull out books that pertain to the theme and leave them up until Halloween, when I change the library to a holiday theme complete with book displays. I usually get help from older kids. I do it on a very low budget and get a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest. Then I go ahead and recycle themes after a few years.”
From a Wild West theme to Captain Underpants, you can spruce up your school library and encourage student learning in a variety of ways. Does your library incorporate different themes throughout the school year? If so, what themes have you used? Are you planning to try some of the themes listed above? Let us in the comments below, post on our Facebook, or tweet us at @RenLearnUS!
+ Be sure to grab our latest free printable bookmarks for the library! Students will love the fun designs.
P.S. Want to join the conversation? Click here to request an invite to the Renaissance Royals, the exclusive community for Renaissance educators.