I love public libraries and at this point I am still slightly hysterical about leaving the public library job I adored to return to school libraries which historically have not always treated me well. There were countless motivations for my decision, but that’s another post.
One of my concerns is that I feel like there’s a huge gap between the work of public and school librarians. I been trying to reconcile myself to the notion that my favourite ideas, tasks and creations may need to be shelved for now. I have been stubbornly toying with the idea that some of them could be adapted, so it was brilliant to stumble on a post at another blog talking about ‘primary centres in the library’ – providing kids with hands-on activities in the school library.
Every school holidays we developed ‘Imagination Stations’ which were set up in all our branch libraries for kids to drop in and do in their own time. They always linked to our holiday theme and I was also developing more purposeful, pedagogical programming whereby we tried to have centres focussing on a range of developmental areas, e.g. Writing, play, verbal skills…
It’s something museums and galleries have been doing for a while and taps neatly into concepts of self directed learning. In their cases it is usually a response to something in their collection so in our public library we tried to incorporate our collection as a focus/stimulus.
On stopover en route to Europe we came across a brilliant ‘imagination station’ at the Singapore Art Museum where people were asked “What would you like to unearth?” The cool thing was adults engaging in the activity as well as kids – and participant creations becoming an artwork in themselves: