How to create an inspiring school library
Want to create an inspiring school library?
It’s easier than you think to create an inspiring school library. All you need is some creative thinking, a dedicated space and LOTS OF GOOD BOOKS!
In our experience, even the smallest space can be transformed into a dedicated reading corner. So you don’t need to spend a fortune to get pupils reading.
Here are a few tips to get you started;
Find your space
- Some schools have a gold standard library already.
- Others may have a library that’s dated, uncomfortable or underutilised.
- Sadly, one in eight UK Primary Schools has no library at all.
Wherever you appear on this sliding scale, you can create a school library on a budget. In fact, any spare room or corner can serve as a dedicated reading space.
**Win a literacy Wall Art project! Open to schools in Nottingham. Skip to the bottom of the blog for details on how to enter!**
Make it accessible
Think about how, and when, pupils can access their school library. There’s little point investing in a school library if pupils won’t have the time or appetite to use it. Alongside books, it’s also worth investing in a few soft furnishings like beanbags and cushions to create a cosy reading environment.
You can also seek out reading champions to encourage pupils to visit the library. Reading champions can show pupils how to find the books they’ll enjoy, and where to sit. They’ll help pupils borrow books to take home, if the school allows this.
Some schools may put off creating a library or reading space because they have an all or nothing view.
But your library doesn’t need to be the biggest or best. It simply needs to be there.
Bring books to life
Of course, the objective of a library is to get pupils reading. But if pupils feel forced to visit the library, or they have no interest in reading, they’re less likely to enjoy the experience.
This is why many schools and organisations advocate ‘reading for pleasure‘. When reading feels like a treat, not a chore, children can harness the life-changing magic it can bring.
Images are particularly useful for inspiring children to read for pleasure. Spark their curiosity by featuring characters, book titles, famous quotes and authors on the walls of your library. Once pupils are intrigued, they’ll be more likely to gravitate towards those books.
To keep costs down, you can focus on a single wall or area. This will draw pupils towards the space and provide a focal point for reflection and discussion.
It’s vital that your school library is packed with diverse and relatable books for all pupils.
Ensure that you feature themes, plots, characters and authors across all ethnicities, backgrounds, locations and abilities.
There are a few ways to stock your library with a wide range of relevant, diverse books on a budget;
- Contact up and coming authors who may provide copies of their latest novel for free. Sometimes they’ll offer this in exchange for some posts on your school’s website or social media channels (they might even visit your library to read to pupils!)
- Seek out literacy charities like Bookmark – they may be able to provide reading packs and books for free or a minimal charge
- Consider running a book exchange where pupils can bring a book from home and swap it for another book in the library
- Set up book buying fundraisers or speak to the school’s PTA about raising money to buy books for your school library
- Contact local book shops and sellers to ask if they can donate any books for your school library
Reading is magic!
Books can transport children into a world where anything is possible. In an age of stress and uncertainty, children who read for pleasure enjoy better mental health, behaviour and learning outcomes.
That’s why we’re passionate about promoting literacy and working alongside relevant organisations to make school libraries accessible to all children.
Get in touch to find out more about our library Wall Art for schools.