The PTO at St. Mary of the Purification Montessori School raised money to “spruce up” the children’s library.  Although it was a nice sum, it did not seem to be enough to cover everything they wanted to do.  The list of requests wasn’t exceptionally long, but it was (financially) significant and labor intensive.  They wanted:

  1. New furniture (tables and chairs)
  2. Steel shelving
  3. Color
  4. A stage

Neither I nor they thought it could be done;  we all thought it would be a phased project wherein we would complete one section of the library at a time.

But with my services “donated“, parent and teacher volunteers, and the support and excitement of Fr. Aubespin, we accomplished much more than any of us thought possible at once.  Walls were added, plumbing was moved, floors were changed out, and the space was completely opened up.  Everything is new except the structure itself and the tables (soon to be replaced with the savings from this project).  The result?  An inviting space for children (and parents) to read, relax, and just enjoy.

Take a look at the amazing transformation of this Children’s Library!

Entering the library

I have few words for what I felt walking into the library for the 1st time.  Actually, I had 3 words – “I’ll do it!”.  I had to.  Kids need & deserve a space where they love to learn.  And this was not an inviting or exciting place to be.


Inside the Library

Standing inside the library looking into the PC room is a little drab & monotone.  Adding color & varying levels of bookcases gave it a lot more interest without loosing book space.

Behind the Scenes

When we started bookcases, a laminator, and other supplies cut off the space. Behind all of that was an extra storage room, bathrooms that most kids & parents didn’t even know were there, and an oddly placed  unused sink.

We relocated the bookcases & laminator and ripped out the sink so that area could be used for storage space.

Preschooler’s Area

This area was previously sectioned off with tall oak bookshelves that also cut off the light coming in from all those windows.  So while the preschooler’s area was nice & bright, the rest of the library seemed dark all the time.

Using shorter bookcases in a T-pattern around the pillar still sections off the area, but allows the light to shine throughout the library.  Added bonus – the librarian can now see what’s going on through the entire library at a glance.


The Storyteller’s View

Here is a better look at the view from the storyteller stage.  The librarian, teachers, & volunteers can now keep an eye on kids taking a bathroom break.

Everyone came together to give the school and it’s students all they were wanting and more!  I was so happy to be a part of it all!

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