Alert readers may recall that this was supposed to be the year of the library. Well, it has been a long and at times frustrating journey, but there is light at the end of the tunnel at last.
It turns out that the "purpose-built" library space is not, after all, particularly well-suited to housing a library, and the school has decided to use that big open space in the middle of the new Learning Centre (as we must now call it) as a double classroom space next year. (This means there will be six classes in the new building. I really hope it's not too noisy in there.) The same space will also double as an assembly hall, with students' desks folded away through some miracle of modern furniture technology.
Meanwhile, the library has been allocated one of the upstairs classrooms in the old building. It might seem that this decision has merely brought us back to where we started, but personally, I'm not unhappy with the outcome. The classroom given to the library this time is actually nicer than the original one, on the eastern side of the building, so not quite so hot, and with a lovely outlook onto trees and roofs. The room is spacious, light, airy and beautifully proportioned. I'm happy that the library has a discrete space of its own, a proper room, rather than a few shelves floating uncertainly in an ocean of multi-purpose space.
We're hoping to do a whiz-bang job of redecoration to really make the library a distinctive and inviting place; we want to incorporate some of the school's neglected heritage items, like some beautiful indigenous artifacts currently languishing in a glass case in the bottom corridor, and a huge collection of shells and coral that my mother remembers being at the school in the 1940s. It would be nice to use some of the fantastic archival material that was dug up for the school's 80th birthday a couple of years ago, too.
So at the moment, I'm feeling quietly confident that we can pull it all together. The best news is that the school has committed to a full-time library staff member next year. I hope we can show that it's a great investment.