Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Renovation: the entrance, part 1

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you may have been wondering what it would be like to visit my school and come to the library.
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Sad to say, you may find yourself with the problem others have told me about.
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Where is it?
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This is the view from the quadrangle.
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OK, getting a bit closer, but this could be any block, any faculty (well, unless you've spotted the purple/chartreuse net curtains, which sure ain't standard issue!).
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Ah, right.  Resource centre.  Must have been built in the seventies (yup).  Now to you, dear teacher librarian blogreader, resource centre, school library, schmibrary, you're not fazed.  But to the mug punter, is a resource centre a library? 
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Bzzzzzzzzzzzt. Not sure.  And it does get referred to around the school, and by me, as the school library, because that is a beautiful lovely term, as is 'teacher librarian'; and also resource centre can be used as an umbrella term for 'can we give you lots more not necessarily relevant things to look after/do, because they're resources', which you can instantly see may lack appeal.  But I've had parents who couldn't find it, new students who couldn't find it, tradespeople who couldn't find it...
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Yup.  It's still a resource centre from this angle too.  The lettering is the signwriting standard used around the school to identify buildings.  Also very seventies, that font.
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So recently (I do like to tell stories, don't I?  But you are enjoying it, and this is illustrated....) I had some teacher librarian friends to visit one afternoon, and I towed them outside and said, what CAN be done here?  And they offered various suggestions and ideas.
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Take-away message? Don't just do your own thinking.  Get your TL pals to offer their ideas.  Remember, you don't have to do ANYTHING they suggest.  If they think that painting it all pink with orange spots and black stripes would be just the ticket, you can nod and smile as gratefully as you do when they offer suggestions that don't make you shudder.   My pals didn't make me shudder.  (Also they read this blog, so of course none of the above refers in any way to their exquisite taste and helpful suggestions).  Paint was on my mind, and on theirs, and we talked about where it might go.  I then took these ideas to my school assistants, and we looked at the entrance area, and talked some more.
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In the education system within which I work, some things are possible, and some are not; and that's the same for everyone.  The budget for this area is small, very small, but there are also other constraints (no horizontal surfaces can be painted, so the beautiful concrete ceiling will remain a beautiful concrete ceiling).
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I got permission from the Principal for some painting.  Then my staff and I played with paint chips.
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Remember these?
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Don't you love showing paint chips that thrill your soul to men who roll their eyes?  It's a beautiful moment.  But the school general assistants are obliging and charming (they don't read this blog, but it's still true) and so they went and bought paint.
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Having whetted your appetite, or so I hope, more tomorrow. Come and visit, and see what happens next.
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ANYTHING we do has to look better than what you see above, doesn't it?  And surely we should be looking at ways to create a better first impression from outside than is the case right now?  Oh yes.
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More tomorrow!  Cheers, Ruth
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1 comment:

katemreid said...

I can't wait to see what you came up with - we have no signage at all, not even a 70s relict at ceiling height...