With the increase in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and ready online access to information, it’s easy to think that school libraries and reading rooms have had their day. After all, school heads are often focused on creating more space for teaching and learning and greater numbers of pupils.
The truth is that libraries and reading rooms are still valuable resources and have the potential to make a huge difference in learning outcomes. The good news too is that creating these spaces can be achieved by installing modular buildings at a relatively low cost.
Research over the last six years both in England and Scotland seems to back this up. The most recent, a literature review by the National Literacy Trust pointed to a number of different benefits of having a library or dedicated reading room on-site.
Creating a Positive Learning Environment
School learning is not just about going into classrooms. It’s important for children to begin to learn to enjoy and take control of their own education. Now more than ever in the modern world lifelong learning and our attitude to it is vital.
Libraries and reading rooms provide a place where pupils can engage independently and find out new things under their own steam. It’s been shown that these kinds of environments lead to greater confidence in reading a wider range of materials and help boost enjoyment by pupils.
There is some evidence that learning outcomes are improved in schools that have library and reading room facilities on-site. Pupils get used to accessing resources and that has a significant impact across a wide range of subject areas such as science, language, maths, reading and writing.
Most schools are married to their exam results, of course, and these can certainly be an influence on the quality of pupils they attract and their local reputation. Having a well-resourced library on site has been shown to give pupils the chance to enhance their study and potentially achieve better exam grades.
Module Buildings for New Libraries and Reading Rooms
The major stumbling block for many schools that want to add new facilities of any kind is space and cost. In recent years, there has been a positive move towards modular buildings. These are prefabricated spaces that can be designed and put together off-site and then delivered and installed in very short period of time.
Compared to the prefabricated buildings of the past, however, these are of a much higher quality and come with all the facilities that you would expect of a traditional construction. They give schools the opportunity to create attractive reading spaces away from the main school building.
The cost of this is also less than if you were considering building an extension or refurbishing an existing space in your school. In most cases, a modular library or reading room can be designed and installed, complete with foundations and utilities, in a matter of weeks.
That also means schools can decide to have an installation carried out safely during the holiday period, so it doesn’t impinge on normal teaching and learning.