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WJH Library Receives a New Look

Photo of students in WJH library This semester, Waller Junior High (WJH) Librarian Kimberly Perry enlisted the help of students to bring new life to the library. In her first year at WJH, Perry wanted to brighten the library while showcasing student talent and ideas. She asked Gifted and Talented (GT) students what changes they would like to see and they were thrilled to take on the project.

“I want WJH students to own the library,” Perry said. “I want students to constantly want to be in the library.”

During advisory, students have worked to add color to the room. Some students painted a bookcase in flames for new books and named it the “Hot Off the Press” bookcase. Other students painted ceiling tiles with inspirational quotes and murals. There are about 65 GT students piloting the change but Perry would like the get the entire school involved.

“I wish for every student to be a part of this,” Perry said. “I want every ceiling tile decorated by students.”

“It’s exciting to be a part of this because after we leave WJH, we can come back and proudly say that we made this,” seventh-grade student Lauren Bolcik said.

Along with decorative changes, Perry updated the layout of the library. Shelves have been moved to allow more space for students to work in the library. She has added new seating, bringing in couches and beanbags, as well as blankets. Perry has also worked to sort books by genre instead of by author and title. This setup allows students to easily find books by the topic they are interested in. Taking it a step further, the most popular books have been placed on the back shelves of the library to make them easily accessible. Thanks to these changes, students are regularly checking out books, leaving shelves empty.

“Already there is a huge difference in the library,” Bolcik said. “Mrs. Perry has made it feel like a brighter and more comfortable place to be.”

“This is all about presenting students with books that they are excited about reading,” Perry said. “These books are for students to enjoy outside of class, and we as teachers have to show them that reading can be fun.”

Also new to WJH, students are competing in a Diary of a Wimpy Kid Bookmark Contest. For the contest, students create hand-drawn bookmarks related to the books. A committee of teachers and students will work to select four students from each grade-level as winners. Perry plans to have 1,000 copies made of each winning design to distribute amongst the school. Winners will also be invited to attend the Wimpy Kid field trip and receive a free copy of the 14th book in the series.