Welcome to our busy library! Over the course of the week, over 600 students come in to learn about research skills, literacy, book fun, tech and so much more! On any given day we might be creating our very own Scranimals, coding a game in SCRATCH, researching ancient civilizations or singing songs about onomotopia! We also read aloud and, of course, check out books!
With such a wide range of ages in our library, it can sometimes be a challenge to truly create a space that is comfortable for five year olds to fifteen year olds and offering a variety of seating for both learning and reading is one way to help make the library a place where all are welcome.
One of the most important goals I have for our school library is to create a space that is a welcoming learning environment for all of our learners. Our library serves a multitude of students, each with their own specific needs and from class to class, student to student, how and where we are learning in the library can be very different and having more flexible seating options available to our learners benefits our whole educational community. As Jason Markusen, educational activist and Principal of Legacy Elementary said of the adoption of flexible seating in his school, "The student-choice benefit behind flexible seating is that it helps students become more self-aware of what types of seating and environment helps them learn best. And, of course they are empowered by the opportunity to have choices. " I want my students to be empowered by choice.
The challenge in a school library that serves a wide range of ages is finding flexible seating that fits all ages, can be easily moved to different parts of the room and can be stacked away when not in use so that we can make the most of our small space.
After much consultation with teachers and librarians who have adopted flexible seating, I have decided that a set of Offi chairs would be the best choice for our space. They have a great track record for students with sensory issues and have had an overwhelmingly positive response in every setting I have encountered them in. While five chairs may not seem like a lot, offering a better choice to my wigglers, wanderers and those that function better in a more enclosed space while also providing more comfortable seating for reading will have a measurable impact on how we learn as a library community.
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