When school reopens in September, Lincoln School students familiar with the school library will no doubt be amazed by its enlivening transformation.
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It’s become an inviting, freshly painted, de-cluttered, young-child-centered space.
And while the new Lincoln library has fewer bookcases and and shelves, the freed-up space allowed for the addition of student worktables where none had existed before; a spacious story time floor space; and bench seating under the windows, complete with cushions where children can also read.
Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES School Library System Director Katherine Hammill and Ryan Ayers, W-FL BOCES School Library System Coordinator who were responsible for the library makeover are confident Lincoln students’ reactions will be similar to those of Perkins School students after their school library was revitalized by Hammill and Ayers last spring.
Here’s what one student had to say just as the project was being completed at Perkins last March:
“When a student came in the library this afternoon right before we left, I gave her a quick tour of the “new” library, and she said: “You guys have done a great job. Wow, you can chillax in here! It feels so free,” Hammill recalled.
"The new changes to the Perkins and Lincoln School libraries are amazing,” Perkins Principal Pete Czerkas said July 26th. “Book titles now jump right off the shelves and grab the readers’ attention. The team from Wayne- Finger Lakes BOCES and our Perkins/Lincoln staff did a wonderful job creating welcoming and inspiring space for our students. Classroom teachers here have come up with ways to utilize this new learning space for instruction and engagement outside their traditional classrooms."
Like Czerkas, Lincoln Principal Kari Hamelinck is thrilled her school’s library got a makeover this summer.
“We were thrilled to hear that Lincoln School would have the opportunity for Katherine and Ryan to work with us to revamp our school library. The transformation has been amazing. The space has become so inviting for students. I have to thank Kate and Ryan for the incredibly hard work that they put in. We are very excited to see our students, staff and families reactions to the space. We think they are going to love it!”
Before either of the two primary school libraries revamping took place, Hammill and Ryan analyzed and pared down the collection of books in both based on such factors as age, wear and tear and cultural relevance.
“They created inclusive, appealing collections at both that align with district criteria for school libraries,” Hamelinck said.
The revamping of both libraries did not involve new purchases; rather shelves, furniture, seating, and more were reused, repurposed, or upcycled. “The design of both libraries was intended to help foster curiosity and creativity,’’ Ayers said, noting changes allowed for more space for story time and working with flexible seating.
“The library is a vital part of the school community, a place where students can foster a love of books and reading, a place where they feel welcomed to explore and learn. We wanted to create library spaces that are relevant and accessible to all students,’’ Hammill said.
Libraries in other area schools that have been revamped by the W-FL BOCES School Library System include ones at Gananda Middle School, Mynderse Academy in Seneca Falls and Williamson and Naples Elementary schools.