“Thinking made visual”

“Design is thinking made visual.”  — Saul Bass This quote cuts to the heart of what good design shows–when everything in a space just “clicks” and feels comfortable, it’s really because the design is just reflecting the philosophies and beliefs behind it clearly. How do we get to that point when redesigning educational spaces? Most importantly we get there by knowing, as the participants at the recent Reimagine:Ed conference discussed, how people learn.  And in a library, it’s about understanding how people learn in a […]

Research as play

Following up on my post on research and play a few days ago, this experiment described in a New York Times article today, “Powerhouse School District Reaches Beyond the Elite” is a perfect example of how authentic research can also incorporate play. At the middle school, the entire seventh grade is taking part in the science of sports project to fulfill the new research requirement. The students are creating a database of their individual running times, first in sneakers and then in alternate footwear, and […]

Playful spaces–some Friday whimsy

A little post about whimsy for a springtime Friday– Another way to add to a sense of play in the library is by using play in your library decor. You aren’t always in the position to remodel a library, but there are lots of ways to add whimsy to your library space. And especially at the high school level, there aren’t many places in the building that are whimsical, so it is something students really appreciate and it makes it feel more like their space. […]

“When the world is puddle-wonderful”

e.e. cummings “in Just spring.”    A puddle-wonderful trend has been rising up in blogs lately about playfulness in libraries, which is so serendipitously-excellent!   Unbeknownst to me when I wrote my own post about play, the Unquiet Librarian and Helene Blowers have both done inspiring work on this as well.  (far better than my post).  So I had to link back to both the Unquiet Librarian’s post, which includes some really thoughtful questions about using play in our work, and  to also include Helene Blower’s awesome Slideshare […]

Play and libraries

Libraries focus so much on the serious side of research, (though in actuality many librarians I know have a great sense of humor), that perhaps we neglect the role of play in learning and creative thinking. (Past the elementary level, that is). After spending some time yesterday in an online blog discussion of Whole New Mind with Maura Moritz’s classes at Arapahoe High School, I decided to take another look at the book’s chapter on play, a topic which has been on my mind quite […]

The library is everywhere

Recently, David Warlick had been exploring metaphors for the library, and has posited that librarians are like viruses,  “infecting their schools with the desire to evolve.”   While I think that is an interesting metaphor, I’m not sure I want to be a virus 😉 I had been thinking that the library is like a heart, permeating the body (school)with life giving substance, or that libraries are like the air, because with the internet, the library is everywhere, all the time, wherever you are. In his inspiring […]

Of cabbages and kings and random things…

A fun way to end my summer blogging today(I am back to work in the physical sense tomorrow!) — I was tagged by two folks for the 8 random things “meme” or game, including one high school blogger, Ethan Bodnar, and also by Clay Burrell.  Here are the rules: THE RULES 1. Post these rules before you give your facts. 2. List 8 random facts about yourself. 3. At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them. 4. […]

Inviting students in

  Yesterday was a unique event which the library hosts every May — Dylan Day. If you aren’t familiar with it or aren’t from our campus, Dylan Day is a celebration of community and music, where teachers and students play and share Bob Dylan music for an entire day.   It is the brainchild of one of our English teachers, Bill Martin.  The library hosts it, moves out most of our furniture,  and closes for “normal activities” during the day, which is quite an undertaking. Why do we […]

The power of play

   I’m reaching the point in the school year where I’ve been driving hard and am getting pretty worn out, as I’m sure a lot of people are, even though I love what I’m doing. So I was really interested to run across this post at Fischbowl regarding the role of play in education.   Karl Fisch highlights a post by his school district’s CIO, Dan Maas, who beautifully illustrates how the love of something is often born from having time to “play” at it early on. In […]