With our checklist of library wants and needs in mind, we have been searching for some images that encapsulate what our school library could look like.

You might think that surely books on shelves is all that is needed, but when you need and want children to get excited about reading, you have to make the environment in which they explore books visually exciting. It doesn’t matter that you can’t judge a book by its cover, because if you can’t get the child to pick the book up in the first place, you’re doomed from the start.

The library has to look stunning:


You can look at a whole range of inspirational pictures by clicking on the link here.

Here are a few edited highlights.

We would like to create a reading tree on the back wall of the dining hall, right next to the library entrance.  The idea is that it is part mural, part sculpture, and the tree would have real books and pages hanging from it.  This is the sort of inspiration we’ve used:


We would also like to create a reading road sign somewhere in or near the library:



like so.

There is a large area of blank wall in the library, which is so high that it would not be suitable for shelving. We would like to fill the space with a mural, maybe something like this image:



From Maurice Sendak’s classic picture book; ‘Where The Wild Things Are.’

We would like our shelving to be accessible to the children:



You can see here that the shelving is mixed, so that large picture books can go into bin type storage, making it easy to browse for little hands, and easy to store, while regular sized books sit along the back wall of the library in more traditional shelving.

We also need display areas where we can show children the covers and insides of books so that they can see the kind of thing that is hiding on the shelves:

bookcases-2children will not browse by instinct. They have to be taught, and one of the best ways of showing them what to do is to make searching for books obvious and appealing.


Furniture must be appropriately sized and inviting:



This, for example shows a nice mix of modular, child sized furniture that can be flexibly used in the space we have, and wide, comfortable chairs that grown ups can share with children.

There will also be room to display the children’s work, and for seasonal or topic based display work that the librarian and teachers want to highlight or show to the children and their parents:



We are confident that if we can create a library which combines all of these elements, we guarantee children will want to spend time there, and become confident readers who read for pleasure and take pleasure in reading.