Visiting our member libraries is always one of the most fun things we do at CMLE Headquarters! We love to see what you guys are doing, and to ooohhh and aaaahhh over all your materials, services, and the general look and feel of your libraries. We plan to visit each of our 300+ members, so if we have not been to your library yet, help us out by suggesting a day or two that will be good for your schedule! These are the articles most read by our community, and we are all looking forward to learning more about your library.
This visit was to the Zimmerman High School media center; and you can just tell from the beginning of the library that this will be a nice place! It’s so welcoming, and I love the clear identification – it’s the librarian in me, but that kind of detail (user friendly!) helps libraries connect to their communities.
Many of our member libraries have maker-spaces, with all sorts of different projects and tools. I love the look of this one, with the bright and cheerful colors leading your eye right to the good stuff! The quotes on the wall also help to establish this as a place that is going to be fun, and where users are going to feel welcome – always great for libraries!
There are lots of books all over this library, and again it is clear that thought has been given to their display for maximum interest! This library serves both middle school and high school students, and some books are kept separately to focus on their intended audience. These shelves look like fun, and draw patrons over to browse the materials there!
That user-centered focus is apparent even when looking at the furniture. These curved tables can be placed together with round tables, to give a large triangular shaped work space for groups! (That kind of detail would encourage me to come use the library more frequently! And indeed, it was very crowded on my visit – I had to really work to take photos that did not include patrons.) These neat shapes and interesting designs would be very appealing to teens!
The pop-culture fan in me was so excited to see all this very cool book-related art! Libraries are all about conveying information, and encouraging both expression and exploration of ideas. This display accomplishes all of those goals: visual information is important in communication, patrons created art that represents books important to them, and I went home and found my Dr Who books after being inspired by the TARDIS you see there! I’m sure I’m not the only one to be inspired by this art, so it is doing a good job!
Like many of our members, this school provides Chromebooks to students; so seeing a department all set up to help students with their needs was great! This is not in the library, but technology needs range across many departments; and it is good to see some dedicated technology help to let the library people do more library-focused work.
It may not be obvious at first glance from this picture, but this is yet another great user-centered feature of this library. They have played live-action Candyland in the library, and all the supplies are being stored here for future play! I love to see these kinds of interactive, fun programs in libraries; we are so much more than just dusty books – programs focused on our users are an important part of our value!
There are books for teachers in the back room, as seen here. They store both textbooks (on the left) and professional resource materials for teachers (on the right). It’s important to remember ALL your users in a library; and a school media center serves staff and teachers, in addition to the kids they see each day. Making these kinds of user-centered resources available is really a key to success!
And I loved this display/sales area! When you have repeated requests for the same things, the library can either work to find an automated solution, or be driven crazy by them. It was great to see this library providing pencils, pens, and earphones this way! Whatever you can do to streamline your procedures, and to allow yourself to stay focused on your main mission, is going to benefit your users – and this is a great example of that work!
Remember: we are looking forward to visiting YOUR library soon! Send us an email, or fill out this form, and let us know a good day for you to have us come visit you for a little while! You will make our day by helping us reach you!