Big changes are happening at the Millis Middle/High School Library in Massachusetts. That’s because school librarian and 2018 Mass Literacy Champion Patsy Divver is engaging students in a new way thanks to her Mass Literacy Champions grant.
The grant will be used to purchase new resources, redecorate and create programs to help students feel a sense of ownership in the library. Divver has created a Teen Library Council to lead the way. “These students are enthusiastic, imaginative and willing to work” Divver said.
The Teen Library Council is tasked with researching new books, comfortable furniture and other resources, and then helping to decide what they will purchase for the library.
“This is their way that they can make the library a fun and enjoyable space to be, but also a place that they’ll have the materials that they’ll be able read and enjoy too” Divver said.
Teen Library Council Members are already playing an active role in planning activities, such as book fairs, author visits and developing library programs.
“The school library isn’t just a place for books to sit on shelves and wait for students to find them. It’s very active, with work online, and with books and projects/research too” Divver said. “However, so many students feel a comfort in coming here that it should reflect more of the students in its design and presentation. I am thrilled to have students who’ve taken an interest in this.”
Students are currently developing a coffee house themed “Read A Latte” night to showcase their new books, and they will also be planning a mini Comic-Con event around their new graphic novel collection which will include presentations by guest authors. At the completion of their grant project, they will celebrate by hosting a Teen Read Night to present their new resources to the school community.
“This type of venue, with students voicing their choices for books and materials, helps to make the library relevant for students” Divver said.