SCISConnections

From little things big things grow

Part 5: The wow factor!

This is the last article in the series generously donated by Nigel Paull.

The excitement and anticipation of finally acquiring our new library had been growing in students, staff and the wider school community of South Grafton Public School (SGPS) over the last few months. Students went without library lessons and borrowing for a short time while we waited for a few minor details to be completed and the shelves to be stocked. On entering the library students were amazed at the space, which was 50 per cent larger than our previous library, and the fact that everything bar the books and library staff were new!

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Teachers and students are enjoying using the new SGPS library

The first group of students into the library looked around and were captivated, uttering a chorus of ‘awesome’, ‘way cool’ and ‘wow’ as their descriptors! Having students keen to enter the library at any opportunity is vitally important. US President, Barack Obama, echoed these sentiments in his address to an annual conference of the American Library Association:
More than a building that houses books and data, the library has always been a window to a larger world – a place where we’ve always come to discover big ideas and profound concepts ... so the moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold into a library, we’ve changed their lives forever, and for the better.

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The students love the larger space in the new SGPS library

The hiatus of no library for a few months led to a renewed interest in the library and borrowing in general. This fact, coupled with a spacious new building, has allowed the library staff to reemphasise and refocus the library in the minds of its users. The layout and informal reading lounges have added a new dimension to the library that had been lacking previously. Mrs Melissa Berry, who is our additional part-time teacher librarian, observed that:
The students have renewed their enthusiasm in the joy of reading. The extra space has meant more books are on display and therefore more visible to the students, capturing their interest and imagination. The result is a more relaxed, yet purposeful library.

Our 21C library has become a great learning centre for all our students and is indeed the information hub of the school. We can now cater for simultaneous groups, undertaking different types of research, throughout the week. A bevy of new computers, an interactive whiteboard and the integrated classroom (videoconferencing) technology have provided new and innovative opportunities for our students to develop their information skills. The videoconferencing capabilities are already impacting on the emphasis and impetus of lessons and the curriculum focus at SGPS. As a teacher librarian I am investigating new and inspiring resources to support this focus and embed new skills into lesson structures.

Our school community is grateful for the BER funding that has resulted in a contemporary, exciting library that will enhance current and future students’ learning outcomes for decades.

Nigel Paull

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Teacher librarian
South Grafton Primary School, NSW