We were so excited to get a tour of the newly redone library and learning commons at the Albany High School! Construction is still taking place around other parts of the school, but the library was bright and inviting, with lots of exciting things happening there! Thank you to media specialist Aileen Swenson for a fantastic tour!
Before you enter the media center is a large space called the Learning Commons. There are several different layouts of tables, chairs, and space to study, collaborate, or just hang out for a few minutes with a good book! We saw lots of students taking advantage of this useful space.
In one of the rooms right off of the Learning Commons is a classroom that media specialist Aileen uses to teach important information literacy and digital citizenship skills.
To your right when you enter the media center are some cool benches strategically placed near the periodicals. Aileen shared that the art department students are working on some special installations that will soon decorate this part of the library! We love to see art, especially student art, in libraries, so we are excited to see what is created.
Also placed right in the middle of the action is this display of New Releases! They have a great selection, and I recognized several titles from my own TBR list! Aileen said they purposefully place this display in the busier part of the library so that if students are just passing through the library heading someplace else, maybe a book will catch their eye and they’ll check it out!
You may notice those enclosed work areas with glass windows. Students who are doing group work can use those spaces to really focus on their projects without disturbing other library users.
We loved finding the festive art installations scattered around the library. This guy is doing some holiday reading outside the group work areas!
In the front of the library is the always important reference desk! You can see there is lots going on here, and it was great to meet some of the other library workers.
We love seeing libraries with a sense of humor, so these book return bins made us happy. Plus, cats and libraries just go together!
The school recently made a switch to include the 6th grade in their facility, so the library is working to accommodate the new students and their reading interests.
One way the library is making an effort to be welcoming to their younger students is by placing their book options in an easy to find spot. This row of shelves (easy to rearrange, thanks to the wheels!) is targeted towards the middle school readers. We love the holiday decorations too!
And of course books are wonderful to see, but it’s also really exciting to hear about the programs happening in school libraries! Albany High School has a Tech Club, led by another library worker, where kids learn to fix Chromebooks and do other technology – oriented activities. We also learned about the Come Alive book groups and got to admire shirts from past years. There is a middle school group and a high school group, and it’s great to hear about all the kids that gather to share their enjoyment of books!
A few more cool aspects of this library include this puzzle table, where students can come work on the puzzle in the morning before school, or during some free time. On the back wall of the room you’ll notice a screen that shows school news, like activity schedules and more! There’s also a room where students or teachers can communicate with other school locations, which is pretty cool.
As library fans, we were so pleased to see all the books available for students. This gentleman is browsing the nonfiction section.
We also were excited to see their growing selection of graphic novels! If you need some suggestions for great graphic novels, check out our podcast episode about the genre.
We had such a great time visiting the Albany High School Library! It’s really encouraging to hear about the students that enjoy using the library’s resources, or who come to high school already knowing about the importance of using proper citations. Have we been to visit your library yet? We want to come admire your space!