Renos will attract a new generation of students to Kaslo school library
Kaslo educators are removing hundreds of books from the shelves of the JV Humphries school library in an effort to lure young people into space.
JVH has embarked on a library refresh program to meet the needs of the latest generation of learners.
“We have this amazing space, but it’s got a little stale,” says Victoria McAllister, JVH director of the school’s library, which features high ceilings and excellent natural light. “But the children voted with their seats. Young children always come to read, but not older ones. We are therefore totally updating our collection.
With a $ 3,000 grant from the Central Kootenay Regional District, as well as various amounts of money from fundraisers over the years, McAllister says work will begin this summer to reinvigorate the library.
“We have taken a close look at the books that have been taken down over the past five years and have recovered hundreds of them,” she says.
The plan is to add new books to the collection, create more small learning spaces, a larger computer lab, seating areas, a reading nook and hang “tons of art,” says it.
The overall goal will be to see the library, computer room and store classroom share a connected facility, allowing students to seamlessly switch between various activities.
“In our school we have an amazing workshop, with everything you could want in a workshop – welding, carpentry, mechanics – it’s incredibly well-resourced,” she says.
So now the school is working with the district to get more powerful computers that can work with the school’s 3D printers and laser cutters in the store.
“We try to create a flow from our library, our computer lab and our shop, for our children, so that they are no longer separate and separate spaces.”
But to do all of these renovations, they need to redevelop the library space – and that meant making room. As a result, hundreds of titles were taken off the shelves – mostly outdated non-fiction reference books and old-fashioned young adult novels.
“We’re getting rid of a lot of those books from my childhood, which are just old stories,” she says. “But we keep the classics. It is still very important. We have a teacher who teaches The Illiad. So we’re going to keep them.
“But honestly, some of our literature was also dated, it was not diverse.”
McAllister says the library will always be a place for children to discover new worlds through reading.
“We will still have thousands of books in our library. We’re probably getting rid of about 1,500 pounds.
“It will be much more inviting for students to come and do their research and work in small groups on their survey projects,” she says.
With a busy Strong Start curriculum for preschoolers, K-12 students, home students, and emerging literacy learners, the school strives to make the library a useful resource for a large part of the community, as well as for the staff.
“When we redesign the library, we really think about our very young children, our homeschool community, and we also do a lot of partnerships with the municipal library,” she says.
Many outdated books will be replaced by what appeals to children these days – graphic novels, Indigenous literature, and books that deal with social justice and environmental issues.
“These show up in our high school as something that our kids are very passionate about,” says McAllister.
And she has no problem defending a larger collection of graphic novels.
“Before, there was a bit of snobbery about what was in a library collection, so we didn’t have comics,” she says. “What we’re trying to do is make our selection more democratic and appeal to all kinds of kids. So we have so many graphic novels – that’s such a big hook for them. The work around images and text is provocative. You can tell such amazing and deeper stories to these emerging readers. ”
Library books that are no longer needed are now available for free or for sale in town, in shops, restaurants and public spaces.
The overall renovation will take around 18 months, although there is still more fundraising to be done to complete the project.