My kids go to Hillsdale Elementary, right there off of Bradford Avenue, and if there is one thing Hillsdale is known for, it’s the library. It’s this large, 2-story circular room in the middle of the school headed by Christine Roberts, a 25-year veteran of the West Chester Area School District, whose reputation precedes her.
“You have Mrs. Roberts,” a Tech Specialist told me at the School District’s recent Parent Tech Night, “You are so lucky.”
So, I suppose it should have been of no surprise when at the first PTO meeting of the year Mrs. Roberts put out her request for new movable furniture for the library the parents in attendance listened in reverence, nodded and silently began plotting their execution.
“The library is not the library you all grew up with,” Roberts says in an informational video about the project.
And she’s right, while we were drilled with the Dewey Decimal system, and hushed for talking in anything above a whisper, today’s library seeks to be a place of collaboration and creativity.
Mobile Library Furniture
According to a market research report on trends in library furniture (and yes, such a report does exist), flexible learning commons is one of three area that will drive library design over at least the next two years.
Spaces that flex and adapt to meet changing project needs are said to be part of the process of preparing our children for a future workforce where anything is possible.
Hillsdale will be the first West Chester area school to initiate flexible seating in their library but other schools will soon be following suit because, in Mrs. Roberts words, “it is so beneficial to our children.”
Listen as Mrs. Roberts explains the project:
Note on project financing:
This request is being funded by the Hillsdale PTO. To raise the money needed the PTO held an adults only fundraiser at the Radnor Country Club over the weekend. The impressive event was a huge success (and surprisingly fun) putting the group well-on-its way to meeting its fundraising goal.
I don’t have access to all the area schools’ activities, so if you know of an initiative, especially one with district-wide implications, leave it in the comments or send me an email with the details.
And don’t forget to follow along for the latest education news and other happenings around town.