Over time and with a lot of care and attention, we have created a valued space for independent learning and teamwork which is a hugely important part of education and the Library aims to give every learner access to the very best in books and cutting-edge technologies available today. And thanks to other contributions from the local community the last stage of the renovation can now go ahead and hopefully should be completed just after Christmas 2017.
The design and plans were kindly drawn up by Jo Kember of Gilling Dod Architects & Interior Designs (a member of the PTFA), who have played a significant part in developing our ideas and turning students' and staffs' dreams into a beautifully crafted reality.
From the very beginning of the project our vision for the Library was to lovingly create a space that shows Inspiration, Innovation, Creativity and Resourcefulness for all our students to enjoy and learn.
Before any work began, staff and students were surveyed and interviewed to devise a new model for the Library to encompass all the features needed. Meetings with students showed us that a new approach was needed to meet all the separate demands on the space by users: Making homework projects, reading, revising for exams, working in groups and preparing presentations. The design concept aimed to achieve this by separating the Library into three areas "Make", "Present" and "Reflect" as identified by wall graphics.
Over summer 2017 the Present area saw the installation of a lovely new Amphitheatre for readings, recitals, presentations, media and skype sessions. Our MakerSpace begins with 3D printing and robotics and will evolve to include a mobile-media platform, building kits, lego and textiles which gives students the opportunity to express their creativity and opens up a whole range of possibilities for imaginative homework projects and student invention. The Reflect area has been opened up with additional comfortable seating and improved shelving layout for browsing. Back office spaces have been designed as a bookable meeting and study room which will allow us to launch new student committees and projects and we have immediate plans to launch an ethical/green group off the back of some of the green credentials of the project. The new design will also make the impressive fiction collection more accessible through the use of a Central Pod for catalogue searches and book promotions. And we have opened up the previously tight shelving layouts. Lighting up the whole space is some beautiful new energy efficient LED lighting which is far superior for students reading and studying in the space.
Gerald Bruen, The Library Team Leader, said "Even though the project isn't quite finished yet, there is a buzz of excitement in the air and the students are really enthusiastic about the development of the space. Not only does the project highlight the student’s ideas and concepts but it is an amazing space which they can appreciate."
In 2016/17 we have piloted a Parental Engagement Programme reaching out to build relationships and support our Pupil Premium parents and children. This has taken place off-site and the goal would be to broaden out this provision, starting off-site and then move the venue for these projects into a newly designed library. Running Parental Engagement Programmes in such a positive, non-formal space, where family reading and wider learning can be encouraged, is key to drawing people back into the heart of the school. This will be very important for parents and the school.
Two of the three local Libraries in the area closed in 2016, leaving this school Library as a key daily, after school resource available for study until 4:45pm.
The grand opening
After over 2 years of design work, planning, fundraising and building work, the new Library & Learning Resource Centre was officially unveiled on 11th December 2017. Different members of the community such as staff, parents, students, governors, community groups and local businesses gathered together in the newly refurbished library to celebrate this amazing space. MR Wood gave a fantastic speech to welcome everyone and thank those who have made the LSA Re-Imagining Project possible (credited below). MR Wood had the honour of commemorating the special occasion by cutting the red ribbon in front of the plaque which will mark the significance of this project for many years to come. It was a fitting tribute to Mr Wood's Headship as he has been such a great ambassador for this project and sought to maintain funding for the Library whilst many other schools saw their Library service as an area where savings could be made in recent years.
The evening ended on a high note with a superb cake created and donated by Lazy Day Cakes which Debbie Fox, the secretary of the PTFA cut and shared with everyone. Debbie Fox said "This project has been a fabulous team effort not only by the PTFA members but by staff at LSA, local community groups and businesses and the students who will hopefully enjoy the new creative space they now have for many years to come".
Without the incredible support offered to the school over the last few years from numerous people within our school community and our local community this project may not have been possible. The PTFA have been heavily involved in the fundraising for our Library refurbishment and have raised approximately £18,000 for the library fund from various events (kindly advertised by The Local List) such as the Summer Ball, Stringers shopping events, shopping mornings, fashion evenings, Christmas market trips, fun runs and even chocolate events. There are lots of other people who have given their time freely and generously donated many gifts and prizes for our events all year round. Debbie Fox, the Secretary of the PTFA, said "The PTFA are thrilled with the progress of the library and delighted that all the fundraising that has been done over the last couple of years has been put to such a worthwhile cause and one which will benefit the whole school. We are very much looking forward to the finished product". The donation from the PTFA has made a dramatic impact and allowed us to deliver a fantastic new vision for the space that will serve our 21st century learners well.
Other contributions have been made more recently from Lytham Schools Foundation who have generously donated £8,500. Mr Martin Gunson attended the opening on behalf of Lytham Schools Foundation. Additionally the chair of the PTFA, Robert Owen, recently received a cheque for £1,000 from Booths St. Annes and a representative from Booths came along to our library opening.
Supported by PTFA, LSA Governors, Students and Staff, Booths St. Annes, The Local List, Gilling Dod Architects & Interior Designs, Lytham Schools Foundation, U.K. Energy Watch, Brian Hodgson Electrical, J.E. Harrison Builders, Marc Anthony Flooring, J&J Decorators, CLC Contractors Ltd, Glendale (UK) Ltd, Lustalux and Lazy Day Cakes.
How you can help
Students can support and contribute to the Library refurbishment by buying a small Library pin badge. These are available to buy for £2.50 from the Library.
The LSA Re-Imagining Project photos