A visit to the Buffalo High School library

I could tell just walking into the building that this was going to be a fun library to visit.

Check out that bison!! He’s not in the library (outside the office); but he clearly sets the tone for fun things to happen – and that carries right through to the library.

I managed to be here as they were celebrating Kindness Week – and the library was an enthusiastic participant! Librarian Amy Sparks showed me all around the library, pointing out all the interesting things she and her staff have set up. Any had just finished submitting a grant proposal, and had included a video of the library with a student who raved about the service – fantastic!

It’s always fun to see these kinds of displays in libraries. We, obviously, like books and often push those; but I love to see displays that also display other fun things that patrons would like!

At CMLE Headquarters, we are fans of kindness – and that includes kindness to yourself. High school is a tough time for a lot of people; being thoughtful about strategies to encourage patrons to incorporate self-care, along with reading lots of great books, into the offerings of the library seems like a very targeted strategy for reaching this patrons group!

And there were many books on display! This is a school library, so educational experience are important in creating displays. The endcaps for many rows of shelves each have a question; then books that would contribute answers to these big questions are provided.  These kinds of thoughtful displays, with a lot of opportunity to think, discuss, and read widely, provide some great inspiration for patrons!

This was one section of another very creative book display idea: books displayed by color of the cover!! Here, you can see the yellow and the orange sections. I was absolutely drawn to this, and wanted to look at all the books to see what was there; and Amy confirmed that yes – this is a good way to encourage patrons to browse books.

I particularly liked these signs, drawing attention to a display of fiction books. There were also bags of book group materials in this section – reaching out to all kinds of reading interests! (I like thrillers myself; so this was fun for me!)

There are assorted rooms throughout the library where students can gather and work in groups, or can be involved with technology work. Laptops are available at the Circ Desk; and this screen could be used for a variety of things, including Skype in the Classroom, or working with other students at a distance. Amy even gave up her office, and turned it into a smaller room for student groups to meet. (No photos, as it was filled with students – but they looked like they were all having a great time and working hard on a project, as they sat on comfy pillows on the floor!)

Libraries of all types need to have programming that reaches out to their unique community population. This looked like a really fun one – and something that could be used in all kinds of libraries! This was Book Speed Dating! Participants gathered around tables, and filled out these dating forms about each book. They were required to “date” at least one book before they left – taking it out on the town (to their favorite reading spot) for some quality reading time! If you have questions about this program, Amy will be glad to help you out!! (Part of the fun of going to visit all these libraries is the chance to see different programs, and then to see them implemented in other CMLE libraries! It truly is better to be part of this library community!)

Can we come visit YOUR library next?? We love to see libraries in action, and promise to to cause too much trouble as we roam around the library exclaiming happily over everything! Email us with some good days for you, or fill out our form on the website. Over the next several months, we want to visit everyone so we can see what you are doing and find out what we can do to help you succeed in that work!

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