George Lucas Educational Foundation

Making the Library a More Welcoming Space

By offering flexible spaces and creative activities that give students a chance to relax and connect, the library can become a haven for belonging—and the heart of a school.

June 14, 2024

When librarians Becca Isaac and Rebecca Webster set out to turn their library at Fauquier High School in Warrenton, Virginia, into a more inviting place, they started with the doors—they’re wide open. In between classes, you’ll often find one of the librarians standing outside, ready to greet students as they come in. 

Once inside, students can easily find a space within the library that suits their needs. Comfy chairs and sofas give students a chance to relax, while collaborative tables provide space for them to work together on projects. The maker zone offers supplies like markers and paper. Everywhere, there is student artwork, book displays, and chances for students to interact. Open mic poetry, book clubs, and collaborative craft projects give students a chance to see themselves in the library and contribute to a warm environment. 

And notably, before school and during lunch, there’s audible chatter and laughter as students socialize and play games—a noise level that the librarians welcome, especially as the teens continue to relearn social skills they lost during the pandemic. Says Webster, “After Covid especially, students forgot how to talk to each other. So I love when we see a group with their phones down and they’re all talking or playing a game.” 

To find more ideas for taking your school library to the next level, read Paige Tutt’s article for Edutopia titled “Setting Up Libraries to Be the Best Space in School.”

Fauquier High School

Public, Suburban
Grades 9-12
Warrenton, VA

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  • School Libraries
  • School Culture
  • Student Engagement
  • 9-12 High School

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