The days of being shooshed in the library are well and truly over at The Illawarra Grammar School.
After a $1 million facelift, the school’s staid old library reopened this week as a bright, open space where children are allowed to draw on walls, watch TV, play games, gather to chat, or wander around on their own while listening to stories on headphones.
Although nothing like a traditional hushed library, the school’s director of information services Leanne Windsor said this was the best way for modern children to learn.
‘‘The way kids learn these days is different ... [and that] has changed the role of the library,’’ she said.
The library is now one colourful technology-filled room sectioned off by cafe-style benches, widescreen smart televisions, beanbags, video conference rooms and walls painted with whiteboard paint so that kids can scribble down ideas.
‘‘Our librarians will now be specialists who can empower kids with tools to use technology responsibly and effectively and give them the skills to evaluate all the information that has been thrown at them because there is just so much they have access to,’’ Ms Windsor said.
There would still be old-fashioned books, but children would also be encouraged to listen to books on wireless headphones or watch an animated story on a big screen with the rest of their class.
‘‘It’s great watching some of the junior boys, who can put these headphones on to listen to a story and they can walk around and still be active,’’ Ms Windsor said.
‘‘Boys don’t really like sitting still so it’s kind of freed them up so they can learn while walking around doing other stuff.’’