Sunday, July 17, 2011

Not So Extreme Makeover

Last year was my first year as librarian and my focus was on cleaning and organizing. Decorations were not high on my priority list. I did make some serious changes including rearranging shelves and adding some soft, comfy chairs; however, I feel like I can focus more on decorating and atmosphere this year. This is difficult for me because I am a minimalist decorator in my own home. I prefer clean and uncluttered spaces. Some might say my style is pretty boring and beige. I watch Hoarders and Clean House like some watch horror movies. I am fighting my minimalist tendencies and trying to spice up the library this year. I reread The Mighty Little Librarians' decorating post to inspire me and watched lots of HGTV. I want the library to be more cafe than classroom. The entire school was recently painted so I can't change that and they refinished the furniture last year so no changes there either. I can't bring myself to put up random, mismatched posters and I don't want to invest a lot of precious budget dollars on decorating so I brainstormed ideas with my color-loving BFF and came up with a plan.
I combed the clearance aisle and found some really cute striped flat King sheets that are going to be made into curtains and pillows. The only open wall space is above the shelves so I purchased poster frames that will fit in those areas. In the frames will be pictures from our school building and grounds. I have the first four ready. I have six more frames to fill and I am trying to decide if I want to take the pictures myself or have a contest during Teen Read Week for the students. The theme this year is "Picture It @ Your Library" so a photo contest would fit nicely. Maybe our art teacher would help me out and allow his Advanced Art students to participate.
I used Picnik to add frames and effects to these pictures to make them more artsy and interesting. I used ShortRun Posters to print the 18" by 24" size and will use Snapfish to print the 16" by 20" size.
I am looking forward to putting up the new Nonfiction subject signs and I hope that with these new pictures and curtains the library will be more inviting and cozy for the students. I will take more pics when everything is up and ready.
How is your library decorated? Is it inviting and welcoming for the students? How do you achieve that atmosphere?


  1. I'll tell you, eliterate librarian, my library space needs work! It's my first year and we're putting in comfy furniture, posters, etc. I hope the kids will use it. Your earlier post did get me inspired to try the bookstore model, too - not sure if I'll do it whole library yet, or just do some featured collections on gutter shelving (adding that too). Like cars, cooking, etc. I'd like to implement the model in the elementary maybe mid year, or next as I have a lot going on already. The big issue I think is one I can't really fix - lighting.

    Love your blog!

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