Create a reading space the whole school can enjoy

Creating a reading space the whole school can enjoy Creating a school reading culture is high up on most Head Teachers wish lists. But presenting reading as an attractive offer isnt always that easy. Whilst most young people find electronic media instantly attractive so motivation is not an issue, we have to work much harder to make books appealing.

Children of all ages expect retail standards of product presentation and will turn away from bookshelves that look boring and old fashioned. If youre looking at create a new reading space for your school, think carefully about where to site it. Unused classrooms are a common choice and work well in that they generally offer a reasonable sized space without too many exits to work around. Many schools will opt to use a more central space such as a foyer or atrium where more children are passing it can be argued this will encourage previously reluctant readers to stop and browse more frequently.

Wherever you choose to site the new space, presentation of books is critical. Face-out displays are vital to ensure you capture the attention of children. Displaying books spine-on may mean you have vast amounts of books in the space but it wont look appealing in fact it can be overwhelming for many children. Selecting fewer books and displaying them well, even if you have to rotate the stock and store some in a store room is a better option. If you have the budget, opt to get a professional company to give you some designs  youll be amazed at the different ideas.

Creating cosy spaces for children to browse and read the books is a good idea again it may be at the expense of a few extra rows of shelving but youll soon see the results when children are lingering over the books and issue rates increase. Before you look at creating a new space, consider carefully how it will be used and by whom. Will it be for class activities only or will children be free to use the space at break times. Will it be for the whole school or just certain age groups? Consider creating different areas in the space for different ages and you can then ensure the shelving is at the right height for the child and that the shelves have been designed for the right type of books.

Picturebooks for younger children will need face-out display across the whole shelf as they have virtually no spine. Whereas for older children, you can opt for paperbacks displayed spine on and just turn the odd one face-out and still get a great result. Consider mixing some play elements in with the book display to create really special reading spaces that children want to visit. At BookSpace we offer hidey-holes, display frames, magnetic playboards, tunnels, displayboards and archways to bring your space to life and change childrens attitude to reading.

We offer a free design service and expert advice to create spaces with instant appeal which banish the dull image of a traditional library forever. The visual stimulus of wonderful book covers, presented face-out at the right height to see and touch, is irresistible. For a full range of innovative book display furniture see

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