International Association
of School Librarianship


Razzle Dazzle: Library Spaces

The Entrance—What Messages Do You Send?

What messages does your library entrance send to your school community?
  • Welcome!
  • Here we are!
  • Great things are happening in here!
  • Come in!

Submitted by Barbara Combes

These ideas have been collated from a workshop session held at the 2010 SLAQ/IASL Conference held in Brisbane, 2010. The ideas are not exhaustive. Many thanks to the delegates who participated and are responsible for some great ideas.


Finding the Library

  • Branding/badging – name clear on the door
  • For libraries located upstairs – signage at the bottom of the stairs, step signage, footprints leading the way, wall displays/posters up the stairwell, flags from the balcony.
  • Signage from outside to direct people in. big one inside to welcome, movable stand – latest events/what’s happening - need to change regularly, preferably daily, must be someone’s responsibility – students?
  • Vinyl signage on entry door or as a frame for the door – words like inquire, create, design, research, innovate, read (change the words and the colours each term)

Signs

  • Welcome banner
  • Doors open (leave open)
  • Notice board in foyer of school, highlighting events eg Math Week. Needs to change regularly, preferably weekly, must be someone’s responsibility – students?
  • Welcome – multiple languages representing all ethnic/cultural groups in the school.
  • Sandblasted stickers (vinyl), large font, multiple languages.
  • Use Wordle to create a colorful welcome "word cloud" using different languages – color print and laminate. http://www.wordle.net/
  • When the library is closed for morning tea – new sign reads – “Down the rabbit hole with Alice and the Mad Hatter for afternoon tea”
  • Welcome sign – prominently displayed in the front window
  • Visible lettering for signage, welcoming special visitors, uncluttered activity board - need to change regularly, preferably daily, must be someone’s responsibility – students?

Using Technology

  • Electronic message board – must be someone’s responsibility to update this, preferably daily.
  • Booking diary for teachers – on front desk, pin up board at entrance, electronic using SharePoint (MS Office software)
  • Screen attached to slide show – from CMIS blog (subscribe to for free), focus on fiction from around the world http://cmisevalff.edublogs.org/
  • TV showing celebration of student work/activities - need to change regularly, preferably weekly, must be someone’s responsibility – students?
  • Digital photoframe - need to change regularly, preferably weekly, must be someone’s responsibility – students?
  • TV display – book trailers (student produced), student interviews

Displays

  • Pyramid display shelves
  • Colorful displays – needs to change regularly, preferably weekly, must be someone’s responsibility – students?
  • Entrance pin-board – advertising lunchtime activities need to change regularly, preferably daily, must be someone’s responsibility – students?
  • Books facing out
  • Color photocopy of new book covers and place on door with an invitation to come in and reserve them – check copyright before you do this. Some Aboriginal artists will not allow copying of their artworks under any circumstances. Needs to change regularly, preferably weekly, must be someone’s responsibility – students?
  • Eye-catching display on something current/new. Needs to change regularly, preferably weekly, must be someone’s responsibility – students?
  • Showcase student work at entry
  • New books, new resources
  • Changing displays and notice board - need to change regularly, preferably daily, must be someone’s responsibility – students?
  • New display just inside door - need to change regularly, preferably daily, must be someone’s responsibility – students?
  • Focus display on topical issues, special events, genres - New display just inside door - need to change regularly, preferably daily, must be someone’s responsibility – students?
  • Open display area at entry
  • Entrance displays – Chinese lanterns, current days/themes/events - need to change regularly, preferably daily, must be someone’s responsibility – students?

Comfort

  • Place couches (red/colorful, heart-shaped) in the entrance – welcome to this space. Make sure OSH is observed and exits are clear.
  • Plants and display of new books – creates ambient space.
  • Coffee table and book display = comfort
  • Arrange furniture in interesting ways to invite usage
  • Appealing entrance – soft furnishings.

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