Not long ago the New Milford High School library in New Jersey was pretty traditional. It had tall stacks of books and old wooden tables that didn’t move easily. It was underutilized. Students weren’t drawn to it and, to a large extent, neither were teachers.
Today, it’s a different story. Students stop by the library during their lunch period and come before and after school. Teachers send students down to work on projects during class time or bring their entire classes. With far more people in and out of the library throughout the day, circulation is way up.
What changed? The library itself got a makeover, but school culture did, too.
Laura Fleming became the New Milford High School librarian during a time of transformation. In her first year, she got rid of some bookshelves and created more dynamic seating arrangements. She also started allowing…