Saturday, September 16, 2017
Disappointment is a humbling emotion.
I spent a great deal of time and energy in 2015-2016 designing a new library for my school.
I researched AASL and ALA publications and drew various renditions for months. I decided on an arrangement and labeled each subset of shelving with the book range it would contain. My design had three separate sections - one for k-2; a makerspace, and a space for general instruction. I was very proud of my design, and was elated - no, on Cloud 9- when the architect used my design for the basis of the final blueprints.
Yesterday, I saw the completed result. My heart dropped. I felt betrayed, angry, depressed, disregarded and tossed aside, and a myriad of other feelings I cannot begin to catalog.
Here is what I drew:
Notice how each section is marked off by a range of moveable shelving.
These are the architect's rendering:
My design was rearranged, but key functionality was maintained.
What actually arrived is a shell: a room with bookcases along each wall, a circ desk that is double the desired size with a book drop on the wrong side of the desk. There are no interior shelves that support the three defined areas of instruction. There are no predefined sections.
In short, all the time I spent was for naught; worse yet, dismissed by someone who "knew better."
I am sure this post reads like I am whining and feeling sorry for myself (I was). I have a certain deal of respect in the library community and many seek my advice and opinion. Did I ever think my design would be cast aside? My ego has taken a tumble for sure.
This is a very sad cautionary tale,not because of comeuppance, but because of the lack of respect for school librarians as professionals who understand curriculum and the needs of students and teachers. If you have the chance for a remodel and are fortunate enough to give valued input in the design, stick with all details until the end. There are still too many who feel a library is a room with tables, chairs, and books but have no understanding of function. Stick with it. I never in a million years dreamt the architect's design would be disregarded when it came to ordering shelving. Never.
Yesterday my emotions flowed. Today I am in control. But I am so sorry for my school's loss.