I can't stop thinking about the photos of libraries that I saw on Flavorwires Most Beautiful College Libraries in the World. I want the slideshow on my desktop. I want to send them to all 9th graders to encourage them to aspire to the life of the mind. I want to send them to all first year architecture students. I sent them to my librarian dad.
If you love these college libraries you should also absolutely check out the Robin Hood Foundation's Libraries in local public schools. You may go on tours this winter and come across the spectacular Robin Hood libraries in schools where you least expect them. When I hear on a tour that a school has a Robin Hood library, I know that I am in for a treat! As you look through the pictures (and there are others that are not shown on the website) remember that the PS numbers can be deceiving - there are duplicate PS numbers in different districts.
The L!brary Initiative, a partnership of the Robin Hood Foundation and the New York City Department of Education, with support from the Mayor, corporate donors, and a team of architects, seeks to reverse these patterns of low literacy skills and under achievement by working with community school districts and public elementary schools to design, build, equip, and staff new elementary school libraries. Working with schools in high poverty neighborhoods that have low academic achievement, the partners are committed to fundamentally transforming school libraries into vital resources for the whole school community — students, teachers, and parents — that will impact and contribute to improved student performance.
I can't finish this post without mentioning the school library at our own PS 9 in Prospect Heights. This spectacular "Book Hive" was the product of a school based initiative. Make sure they take you upstairs to show it to you on the tour!