READ – dream, create, inspire, laugh, live

I raced to finish nailing up my new lettering for my library renovation this afternoon, so I could take a photo for the blog, as promised. At 5.55pm, there were still some adjustments to be made but the school cleaners were ready to depart. And then… a reprieve! The Principal was still on site for the monthly P&C meeting, so I had plenty of time to be a perfectionist. (I can’t tell you how many times I was up and down that ladder today.)

So, here’s the grand unveiling:

Again, Kaisercraft MDF (wooden) letters, from Spotlight, feature. I’d been planning to create several words, perhaps our school’s four core values, from small individual letters; I really wasn’t expecting to find whole words in flowing script (@ $4.99 each). I bought all the words they had in stock. I wonder if they usually stock others? My local Lincraft stocks the individual letters, too, but not the whole words.

I’d failed to consider buying a 250 ml jar of white Derivan “Matisse” while I was there – actually, I assumed these were going to be burgundy, too, until I thought of doing the wall that colour, so a quick trip to a bargain shop in the CBD on Sunday provided me with a $2.50 tube of while acrylic paint instead.

I’m quite thrilled with the result! The library suddenly now has a sleek, yet fun, clean and corporate feel to it. Well, at least when you look in one direction.

Total cost of this renovation: $43.40.

And speaking of a sleek, clean and corporate feel, here’s the first two examples of some new signage created by my library clerical assistant, Louise. Taking to her new assignment with gusto, Louise had heard me talking about Kevin Hennah’s advice on what to do when one simply had to put up some of those ubiquitous laminated signs in the library!

We created a standardised template in Word. Two fonts, as reminiscent of the new MDF lettering on the wall as possible, and with a consistent watermark in the bottom corner of our school logo.

Now any sign, even if only a very temporary “Photocopier out of order”, “Please use other door” or “Meeting in progress” sign, can be made in a matter of seconds and printed out, instead of using a hideous, handwritten scrap of paper, taped or Blu-Tacked to a wall, where it often stays for weeks or months beyond its intended “use by” date.

There’s really no comparison: wrinkly, ugly, yellow, A3 laminated sign (left) vs fresh and new (right)!


There’s really no comparison: wrinkly, ugly, yellow laminated sign vs fresh and new!

There’s no comparison here, either: boring A3 set of “Library Rules” (left) vs fresh and new A4 laminated sign (right)!

Total cost to library of template renovation: Nil (using school laminator).

Thanks again, Kevin, for the inspiration and guidance, and thanks Louise for a great job on the template, which will probably get quite a workout over future years. Well, maybe not too much of a workout, eh Kevin?

6 thoughts on “READ – dream, create, inspire, laugh, live

  1. Hi Ian

    You are doing a BRILLIANT job transforming your LRC!!! I love the Check It Out on your Circulation Desk. Your ideas are inspiring me as my LRC needs a new look.

    How are the students responding to your wonderful renovation?

  2. Thanks Kim,

    “Check it out!” has become the catch cry in the library at the moment. The students have been very complimentary and excited, which is encouraging to keep going.

    Many have exclaimed, “A new desk!” and are astounded to hear that it’s not a new desk, just an old piece of existing furniture, pulled out from the wall and spun around.

    The big test is next year: will the borrowing stats be up? As Kevin Hennah said, borrowing statistics are really the only evidence we can use to gauge if the library environment has become more effective through changed design.

    The staff like the new look, too. It’s been funny to see staffmembers come in to use the photocopier, totally absorbed in what they need to do to start their day, and then they become aware of the changed environment.

  3. looks fantabulous!
    Great job!
    May I ask why you do not have a key.
    I lock up nearly every night.I would be totally lost without my keys!!!
    Cheers 🙂
    Audrey XXXX

  4. I do have library keys, of course, but I’ve always been happy to leaving the turning on of school alarms, the locking of the main building and the locking of the main gate, to the cleaners or the Principal.

    Way before centralised alarms, I would sometimes drop into work to “do things”, but I’m satisfied to leave the job of school security to the experts in that field. If that means leaving the premises by a certain time, then that’s fine with me!

    With computers, it’s so easy to prepare work and email it to myself, or to put links onto this blog that can be used next day, so pottering about in the school library way after hours really isn’t necessary.

  5. Ian,

    As you say, you have taken to the task with gusto!!We’ll be starting our “reno on a shoestring” soon – hope we can have as great an impact as you have had. Keep up the fabulous job.

  6. Hi Ian,
    Having seen the changes for real as well as here on the web, all I can say is … WOW!

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