Skyline has the good fortune this year to have a full-time teacher/librarian Chris Bloomfield who has worked to transform the school library
this year both literally and figuratively.
Mr. Bloomfield, in partnership with District Library Manager Amy Cheney, secured a grant to transform the library into a vibrant and welcoming space for students. The Heart of America Foundation along with Behr Paint volunteers gathered in December 2016 and were able to paint sections of the library a vivid Skyline red, thoroughly scrub the floors, arrange new tables and chairs around the room and create a welcoming front sitting room with a couch, tables, a rug and chalkboard wall paint for inspiring quotes and thoughts. An ideal space to study, come in out of the rain, pass a free period, check out a few books or do research on the bank of computers available.
Now spectacular literary graphics and poems adorn the upper portions of the walls all around the room reflecting the various languages spoken by the student body at Skyline including Spanish, English, Tongan and Arabic. In addition, Lauren Litwin, Skyline Co-director of the Visual and Performing Art Pathway and Digital Photography teacher donate some of her framed graphic design art to add interest and color to the space. Mr Bloomfield is currently updating the Skyline collection by removing old or worn copies from the shelves, adding new popular fiction books, new award winning novels and adding relevant Pathway specific non-fiction volumes to the collection.
In addition, Mr. Bloomfield has brought several authors to
campus this year and is working
to bring more.
"A lot of times we think of books in the abstract, and seeing the actual author puts a human face on the abstract, said Mr. Bloomfield. "Students and schools don't get the opportunity to meet people who write book. My goal is to bring as many authors as possible and to give as much access as possible to as many students as possible."
The library is now a welcoming space for students and the entire Skyline community. On any given day you will see students playing chess in one corner, a group working on a project together, entire classes and even small meetings and often you can hear in soothing sounds of old jazz vinyl record in the back round. This is a great space to host guest authors, host evening PTSA and School Site Council meetings and other events. Regular library hours are daily 8 AM - 3 PM. There are additional hours before school and after school with supervision for students.
All students will hopefully take advantage of this improved library filled with bright light and a clean space to learn where high quality resources are available to all of the students at Skyline.
Above is the new front room of the library.
Below is LeAlan Jonees author of Our America: Life and Death on
the South Side of Chicago in the library before the renovation.