Innovative new ‘SpaceBook’ Library at Ironi Hey High School

Creating a student-focused collaborative study space for the Information Age
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‘SpaceBook’ is an initiative originally designed and implemented by students from one of Tel Aviv’s local high schools a few years ago after receiving a grant from the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo to convert their school library into a social and study space. A SpaceBook library is designed to encourage interactive and collaborative learning in a relaxed and fun way, as opposed to a traditional library where a librarian insists on absolute silence and shelves are stacked with dusty books.

Following the success of the SpaceBook model, the Ironi Hey High School is planning to renovate its library and convert it into a SpaceBook library. Ironi Hey High School is located in north Tel Aviv and caters to 572 students in Grades 7-12. The school is committed to academic excellence as well as social and community involvement.
The vision of a SpaceBook library is to create a place to meet and research, think, learn and create. Significantly, the focus of this new kind of library shifts from books to students.
Planning for a new SpaceBook library is based on three principles:

  1. Designed and managed by students. Students are responsible for the operation and services provided in a SpaceBook library. In other schools, this includes workshops on research and study skills, mentoring, etc.
  2. Dynamism. A SpaceBook library needs to be dynamic, evolving, and lively so that it attracts and supports a diversity of students throughout the year. The key challenge is maintaining its attractiveness over time.
  3. Inviting and Modular Design. The interior design needs to be inviting and comfortable. Furniture needs to be modular and mobile so that it can be moved around the space to facilitate collaboration and meet different student needs. Existing furniture will be utilized as much as possible.

A SpaceBook library is open throughout the school day, including breaks, and students are permitted to enter even without a supervising teacher for individual and group study. A SpaceBook library may also be opened after school hours so students can study for exams. It is important that the teacher who staffs the SpaceBook library is equipped to respond to student questions and advise them on study strategies.

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