What is the most important part of a school? The classrooms? The gym? Book-lovers everywhere know that the answer to that question is, of course, the library.
But at a time of tight finances, it can be increasingly difficult for schools to invest in their libraries. One North Derbyshire school has been able to buck this trend. Hope Valley College has a whole new library thanks to the efforts of its PTFA, who raised an impressive thirty one
thousand pounds to make sure the children have a safe space to read and develop their love of books.
Harriet Mummery, Library Manager at the college, says: “It was important to us to involve the children in the design of the new library, so we had a competition. The winner got a book
token, and to see their design become reality. The winning design, by Ben Watson, was so impressive that the company we worked with has even offered him some work experience.”
Ben says: “The old library was mainly for people who already love books, but I wanted to design one that could draw more people in. I put three podiums of books at the front so you
can quickly grab a book if you want to, and they make a welcoming display.”
But what do the students make of their new library? One girl rifles enthusiastically through books. “It is beautiful,” she says. “But it smells of new carpets. I can’t wait for it to smell of