Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A story to celebrate about schools and libraries

I was sent this today:

" For three years Carterton Community College was an Oxfordshire secondary school with no library after a previous headteacher had closed it down in order to use the room as an engineering suite for 15 students.

Our current headteacher, Niall McWilliams, was appalled by the situation that he inherited and wanted to restore our lost library. But it takes longer to rebuild than to destroy so it wasn’t until September 2011 that we were able, with the support of our school governors, to start the restoration project. I moved from my role as Head of English in order to manage the new library project.

We were almost starting from scratch with an empty room. Although we were able to bring old fiction books out of storage, no records had survived – and much of the non-fiction had been thrown out. We had to have new shelving installed, and buy furniture, IT equipment, and new books. Our colour scheme is grey for the shelving and tables (students wanted something quite grown-up and smart) with splashes of lime green, purple and orange in the seating (they didn’t want primary colours). Visitors’ comments have been enthusiastic, calling the new space ‘stimulating, welcoming, funky and cool’! In September 2012 the new library was officially opened by Sir Tim Brighouse.

Carterton Community College library should never have closed and we know that there are at least three lost years to make up. We are still trying to build up our book stock and are grateful for donations received from individuals and local organisations. The restoration project was long, sometimes difficult, sometimes exciting - and a surprisingly emotional process. So we were absolutely thrilled to win the School Library Design Award 2013! This would never have happened without a headteacher who strongly believes that a library is ‘the heart of the school’.

We continue to post updates about our progress on Twitter @cartertoncc_lib and there is a photo gallery of the library on our school website: http://www.cartertoncc.oxon.sch.uk/page/default.asp?title=Home&pid=1
Rosemary Stables
Library Manager "