This year we had exciting news! At the end of October, we were told they were going to begin work on our brand new library. GOOD NEWS! While they were working on the “brand new, bigger, better library” we told the students we would be moving into a temporary place. After a lot of questions and much discussion we deemed the new space the “Caferary”. The kids still use this term sometimes although some have forgotten that this was part of their cafeteria and that we are going to get a new library soon.
That is a testament to the fact that we have worked hard to make this “Caferary” a warm, inviting place for kids to come. Although this is a smaller area , and it has its limitations, we have definitely made the most of the space. We have the majority of our books available; we have defined spaces for different purposes – i.e. story time, quiet reading area for upper elementary; we have utilized iPads for students to search our online catalog of books.
The move went pretty smoothly overall. We were almost ready to reopen on the 25th of November when the sky opened up and flooded much of the campus. We had some water in the new Caferary but very little damage to books thanks to the quick thinking of April and the HOW crew. Our grand reopening was put off until 1 December. Before we moved, students were able to check out double their normal amount of books so they had plenty of reading material. The lower elementary was treated to story time and quiet reading time in their classroom during their normally scheduled library time.
Karen Genest is retiring after 7 years at ASD and 31 years in education - 6 in the classroom and 25 in the library. Karen will be remembered at ASD for her encyclopedic knowledge of books and authors, her tech skills, her storytelling , her adventurous spirit, and her diverse list of hobbies (Zumba, rock climbing, karate, signing, ikebana . . . ).
Karen and her husband Jeff are looking forward to spending time back home with their daughters and grandbabies, and are always updating their bucket list of travel destinations. We'll miss you, Karen!
Members of the library team participated in some fantastic professional development this year, including:
Through these workshops we came away with ideas that transformed our practice - from the furniture we chose for the new library to how we display or books to how we gather data on our practice.
Library design consultant Kevin Hennah gave a 1/2 day workshop for Qatar librarians at ASD in September, and then spent the afternoon working with us on our libraries. Kevin gave us some great ideas for furniture in the new ES library that will open in the fall.
We were able to take some of his suggestions and make immediate changes in the MSHS library that have had an impact on the atmosphere in the library as well as in increase in book circulation.
Kevin inspired us to:
Build a small wall in front of the rest room that allowed us to move all three copiers to one area. Now the copiers are closer to the circulation desk for easy access to assistance, we were able to create better seating in the center of the library. This move also helps the visual appeal of the library as you first walk in.
Arrange as many books as possible front-facing. We were able to adjust the top and bottom shelves on the taller library shelves so they will better display the books. Our print circulation is up 18% this year in the MSHS, partially as a result of this change.
"Un-Dewey" the non-fiction section. We are trying to think more like a book store and do a better job of labeling the shelves to reflect the subject matter of the books. To do that, we had to do some serious rearranging. This has made it easier for everyone (including the librarians) to find what they're looking for. Books that were once difficult to find are circulating more due to increased searchability, and students are able to browse the stacks with greater ease.
Pull out more special sections. Poetry and classics are now easier to find and have seen increased circulation.
Increase signage. We ordered some new 3-D signs that help direct library patrons to what they're looking for.
We can't wait to put some more of his ideas into play next year!
The MSHS library is saying goodbye to two of our favorite people - Kathy Peterson and Nicole Wouters. Kathy worked for the library for 7 years and Nicole for 9, and they were a dynamic duo. Their ability to keep the day-to-day operations of the library running smoothly was exceeded only by their fantastic customer service. They knew all of the library regulars by name and reading preference, and would help anyone with anything. We are so lucky to have had them in the library for so long.
Kathy and her husband are retiring to Canada, and Nicole will be in Doha for a while longer, waiting for her husband to retire. They will both truly be missed.
Linda Hoiseth - HS, Karen Genest - UE, Cindy Wright - LE, Lauren Elliott - MS