How to Decorate a School Library

Young students in elementary school library
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A visit to the school library is one of the only times a student ventures beyond the classroom during the school day. Therefore, the library provides an opportunity for students to have a learning experience that differs from traditional studies. Decorations are one way to make this special library time a positive, memorable experience. A well-decorated school library can inspire students to enjoy reading and to read more often.

Decorate by season. Hang leaves in the fall, snowflakes and white lights in the winter and paper flowers at springtime. This effect brings the organic joy of nature into the library. To accompany the seasonal décor, include a table of books that relate to the particular season; for example, “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs would work for the winter theme table. The seasonal theme can also include various holiday decorations for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and May Day.

Decorate by reading genre. Organizing the library into sections based on genres, such a fiction, nonfiction and science books, is both fun and useful. recommends keeping an aquarium in the library, which would be perfect to include near the section with animal-related books. For the fiction section, large cutouts of famous fictional characters such as Harry Potter can be posted next to the sign reading “Fiction.” Various large maps can surround the geography section.

Hang the walls and cover the tops of shelves with artwork made by the students themselves. For example, these can be drawings of favorite book characters, book dioramas, drawings of famous authors or individual interpretations of famous book covers. Covering the library in student artwork reminds students that the library is their space.

Create cozy reading corners by using beanbag chairs, lamps, fuzzy carpet and curtains to make it feel like a comfortable reading space. This will set the library apart from the classroom, where less laid-back studying occurs. A cozy reading corner will help make the library a place where students look forward to going. recommends finding old furniture from a yard sale or asking a furniture store to donate a comfortable chair or couch.

Make a student-recommended bulletin board. Similar to the staff-recommended shelves found in many bookstores, this bulletin board would include the book recommendations of students in various grade levels. This process also encourages students to talk to each other about the books they’re reading, which adds to their general enthusiasm about the subject.

Emile Heskey has been a professional writer since 2008, when he began writing for "The Journal" student newspaper. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in modern history and politics from Oxford University, as well as a Master of Science in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies from Edinburgh University.