When I started teaching, I knew I might teach any middle school subject so I wanted to be prepared. I tried to think of a theme that would go with anything. I came up with "BRIGHT". In my classroom it was "Our futures are so BRIGHT" and I just used bright colors to decorate everything. When I transferred to the library, I wanted to keep all the stuff I had accumulated and keep the bright, fun colors. So I just changed it to "Reading makes you BRIGHT"! It worked perfectly. Now my only problem was.....
Our library was NOT bright!
Take a look at this quick video I made when trying to raise money for some things I wanted to add to the library.
Next was the furniture. I wanted to have fun, flexible seating for students to sit in and read while in the library. I also recognized I didn't have much money. When I mentioned this to a teacher at our school, she said she had an old church pew in her yard I could have if I wanted it. I knew that beggars couldn't be choosers, so I jumped on the opportunity! I spray painted the bench a bright green and got some fun, comfy pillows. After someone saw this, they said they also had an old church pew I could have! So I painted that one the same color and used it, too. After a year in the library, I made a little extra money from our book fair and used it to purchase more flexible seating. I ended up with a bistro table, bean bags, cool string chairs from TJ Maxx, and three plastic Adirondack chairs from Family Dollar. All of this wasn't bought at the same time, but it steadily accumulated over the first and second year in the library. It was awesome, but none of it would work with our white, wood paneling and dark green library. Not very BRIGHT!
So my amazing principal came to the rescue and told me that she wanted me to choose paint colors in order to repaint the library. WHAT?!?!?!?! I was so excited and already knew the basic BRIGHT colors I wanted. Our school uses Sherwin Williams paint, so I landed on violet purple, surfer blue, and outrageous green. I wanted the main walls purple because our school colors are purple and white, then the walls around my office blue and just one wall behind the computers green. Unfortunately, the green color didn't come in fireproof paint and the wall I needed painted was paneling. So we ended up painting that one a soft white, but hey, still MUCH better than wood paneling! Right?
The paint job turned out AMAZING! It made all the small touches like posters and decorations really come to life. I was so happy with it all and almost cried when the students came in the next year. They seriously freaked out at the difference!
I truly feel that our library is now a BRIGHT, fun, cozy place to sit and read a book, enjoy a great lesson, or tinker in the new MakerSpace.
To learn more about how I did the MakerSpace, check out the next blog post! :)
To see how we completely transformed the library, check out what it looks like now in the video below!