The Making of a Library

I live and breathe books, as do the programs I am involved in at both Hollins University and the University of Glasgow. We've been working towards the idea of creating an on-site library at Hollins during our summer MFA in Children's Book Writing and Illustrating and Certificate in Children's Book Illustration programs. I also talked to my supervisor at Glasgow about creating an on-site children's book library in the School of Education. In both cases, there are nearby libraries. However, both are a bit of a hike and mostly uphill (the one at Glasgow is especially so). The main libraries are just physically removed enough that students don't use them the way they could (me included).
     It's not laziness, it's a matter of immediacy. There's nothing like wanting to refer to a book and having it right there, or to be able to sit and just browse through titles with no goal in mind. This can be especially helpful for budding educators and creators who don't have a solid mental data-base of what books are actually out there. Being able to easily browse can give them a working knowledge of available books to share with young readers and students, or to inform their practice.
     Add to all that, when I served on the Book Bug Selection Committee for the Scottish Book Trust, I ended up with an enormous box full of books that I didn't need to keep. So, I had books to share, with no place in particular to share them!
     As it turns out, I wasn't the only one with the idea of an onsite library.
     Lecturer Jennifer Farrar had also been investigating the possibility for all the reasons I mention above. While in a staff meeting, a discussion came up about a wonky little room in the building that wasn't being used, and did anybody have any ideas. Jennifer jumped on it and lo' a library was born! Of course, I wanted to help!
     Jennifer got the college to spruce up the room with new flooring, chairs and bookshelves. We coordinated a day for her to pick me up along with my box of books, and she added books donated from local libraries and other sources. It was a great chance for us to talk and get to know each other better. Best of all, we were able to create a library - in a day!
     The space used to be a coffee room. It's oddly shaped with a wall of windows and a great view.
Jen had bins made, similar to the ones that hold books at the public children's library on the George IV bridge.
We unpacked box after box.

And had fun doing it! (Here's Jen - victorious!)
     And BOOM! Insta-library!
     We created a magical space and one that I know is going to get used like crazy. If you ever need to find me on campus - guess where I'll be!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Awesome! I love it!