How to Transform Your Library Space on a Budget

How to Transform Your Library on a Budget | In my post for AASL Knowledge Quest, I share advice and ideas learned from transforming the library at Stewart Middle Magnet over the course of five years on a small budget.

Transform Your Library Space

Recently, I’ve been looking back through photos of my media center at Stewart Middle Magnet from the past five years… As I look back over these photos, I’m struck by how the space slowly evolved over this span of time. It’s easy to just focus on all the big sweeping changes we made in the summer of 2014 when we got our Lowes Toolbox Grant for $5,000 and used several DonorsChoose projects to create a makerspace and flexible learning commons area. But a lot of important changes happened before 2014, and I realized that many of them are very budget friendly and easy for anyone to do, no matter what situation they’re in.

In my latest article for AASL Knowledge Quest, I take a look back at some of the budget friendly changes I made to my library space that made a dramatic impact on the learning experiences of my students.  I share how you can use these ideas to transform your library and make it more awesome too.  There’s lots of things I’ve learned over the last five years of changing up this space.  Transforming our library took time and a good bit of elbow grease, but it was so worth it.  Click on over to AASL KnowledgeQuest and check it out 🙂

Some ideas included in the post:

  • How less can be more
  • How to make wall space even if you think you don’t have any
  • Why you should play house in your library
  • Ways to source new ideas for your space
  • Why you should never stop dreaming

Seriously, go check it out.  There’s some pretty epic before and after pictures that give you a good idea of how dark and cavelike my library was when I first got there, and how much it’s changed now.


Diana Rendina, MLIS, is a middle school media specialist/teacher librarian in Tampa, FL. She is the creator of the blog RenovatedLearning.com & is also a monthly contributor to AASL Knowledge Quest. Diana is the winner of the 2016 ISTE Outstanding Young Educator Award, the 2015 ISTE Librarians Network Secondary Award, the 2015 AASL Frances Henne Award & the 2015 SLJ Build Something Bold Award. She is an international speaker on the Maker Movement and has presented at conferences including AASL, FETC & ISTE. Diana co-authored Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace with Colleen and Aaron Graves (to be published August 2017). She is also the author of the forthcoming ISTE book, Reimagining School Libraries.