Students bring library to life

CURATORS: Back, Danielle Churchett, Ruby Crettenden, Murphy Starr, Aiden Turner, Sid McFarlane and Willow Cook, front, Rhys Turner, Isobel Salter, Lily Gregory and Amber Phillips.
CURATORS: Back, Danielle Churchett, Ruby Crettenden, Murphy Starr, Aiden Turner, Sid McFarlane and Willow Cook, front, Rhys Turner, Isobel Salter, Lily Gregory and Amber Phillips.

A group of Cowell Area School students have taken on the task of promoting the school library among their peers this year.

Staff members Tom Darling and Nicole Turner decided to create a library advocates group to help identify areas the library could improve student engagement earlier in the year.

A group of ten students were formed under the name 'Biblioteca Curators' (library caretakers) and they meet regularly to share ideas over morning tea.

"We do our best in the library to engage students and encourage the use of library resources and space, but we wanted to validate and extend our ideas to ensure what we believed was important, was also important to our students," Mrs Turner said.

"Members share ideas and thoughts on library programs, provide book reviews and have undergone basic computer training to assist students borrowing during class and lunch times."

The group is currently working on introducing a virtual reality station to be available for students to use at lunchtimes.

The students are testing which apps to use, as well as helping set guidelines such as time limits and class rostering.

The idea behind the virtual reality space is to ensure all students are able to experience new technologies without bearing the cost.

This term, the group will also run a lunchtime Lego Masters competition and will work together to make up challenge kits for small groups to enter weekly competitions.

Mrs Turner said allowing the Biblioteca Curators to take charge would make the competition a popular one for students.

"The curators have decided on the parameters for the competition and as a result, we believe giving them ownership of the event will help with its success."

The students are set for a busy end of the year with the two projects, but in the longer term they also hope to start recording podcasts and creating QR codes providing book reviews for their peers.

They would also like to organise an author to visit the school.

Mrs Turner said the group had also seen the formation of new friendships.

"The other benefit is that the project has created a group of people who may not have usually socialised much with each other but have been brought together through their common interests and love for books," she said.

"Tom and I would like to think the students get as much out of the group as we do, and we always look forward to the next meeting to see what ideas they come up with,"