A fresh library for tomorrow's teachers

Renovation reconfigures space for students

Christina Jones, Education Library Head, is clearly delighted about the renovation. Taking the current physical space, architects are amplifying existing features and reconfiguring others to create new spaces.

“They are designing elements to take advantage of the beautiful windows lining the curved wall overlooking a small, wooded area,” Jones shares excitedly. “Dean Morrone was keen to lower the shelf height and arrange them in such a way that upon entering, users will see all the way through to the windows.”

The entrance to the library is another place to gather. Just inside the front door, there is soft seating, which Jones describes as  “a perfect place to sip coffee and meet friends before studying.”

"My hope is that the diverse individuals in our community will view the library as a third place, separate from the classroom and office, where they may gather to share ideas and connect with one another," she says.

To preserve quiet, the number of enclosed study rooms is increasing. Furnishings along the glass perimeter of the space are conducive to solitary quiet study.

“It is our intention to maintain the quiet, reflective atmosphere of the library that our users tell us they value. On the other hand, there will be focused areas for demonstration, exploration, and creativity,” she says.


Providing a simulated classroom space for pre-service K-12 teachers helps them visualize how books, discussion, and storytelling work in the field. The demonstration room, called the WORKshop, allows faculty to lead demonstrations in book sharing and discussions with P-12 children.

Pre-service teachers will enjoy storytelling demonstrations with puppets and felt characters, along with opportunities to create and make items for field experiences and case students -- working one-on-one with students. Productivity tools such as a Cricut machine and a button maker are just some of the supplies available for use in the WORKshop.

A designated book discussion area in the corner of the library is filled with comfortable and movable soft seating. Video capability will enable authors and scholars to participate in discussions virtually.

A unique feature of the book discussion area is a permanent picture book gallery, in which the pages of a picture book are displayed so users may experience a work simply by following along acrylic panels.

In addition to the Education Library renovation, some adjacent classrooms are also being transformed. Utilizing the expertise of School of Education faculty, combined with the innovative UITS Learning Technologies team, these classrooms represent a flexible, dynamic learning environment. The proximity of the classrooms to Education Library resources is a positive step toward greater collaboration among units.

Until the doors open on the newly renovated library, the School of Education Library Outpost serves as a placeholder for library services. Located on the balcony of the Wendell W. Wright School of Education, the temporary space is tucked in a corner of the second floor atrium. Its number of hands-on books is reduced, but it does not lack in enthusiasm or passion for patrons. “Everything must fit on a cart,” Jones says, explaining their limitations.

The Education Library team worked to make the temporary location inviting with displays, a rug, and even fairy lights. In the space students and faculty will find rotating children’s book collections, course reserves, pickups for held materials, and a location for returning items.

Learn more about services at the Outpost.

Working at an IU Libraries' location can be a memorable part of a student's college experience. Daily interaction with professional library staff creates many unique learning opportunities. Pictured below in the temporary Education Library Outpost, two long-time Education Library student team members pause with an item from the collection. “I'm most excited about the library's role in helping to build community among School of Education students, staff, faculty, and guests,” Jones shares.

Photo Credit for below image: Ellie Pursley, IU Libraries Student Graphic Designer

Two young adults sprawl across green indoor carpeting as they smile and look at a colorful children's picture book. The visible title reads, "Change Sings"

An experienced leader for the Education Library

With work underway, Jones predicts the renovation could be completed during spring semester, 2023. She is grateful to the support of the School of Education and its donors to make the much-needed project possible. She is especially appreciative of the space and support for the Education Library Outpost during the main library closure.

As the Education Librarian for IU Libraries since 2020, she has made building relationships among the School of Education community a priority.  A veteran librarian and adjunct professor in the Department of Information and Library Science, Jones is uniquely positioned for the renovation. As a Children's Services Librarian at Monroe County Public Library (MCPL), she served many pre-service teachers and faculty from the School of Education working with children's literature and facilitating outreach experiences. “Teaching keeps you current and on your toes, thinking philosophically, having vision and communicating goals,” she remarks.