New front facing shelves display book covers

By Chad Koenen

Photos by Chad Koenen
A new look Henning School Library features more front facing book shelves, decorations, new paint and carpet. Below: New benches feature old books that were utilized for the base that would otherwise be disposed of at the school. 


As the old saying goes, never judge a book by its cover—unless of course you are talking about a book itself. 

A new look Henning School Library is hoping students do, in fact, judge a book by its cover thanks to an expansive remodeling effort over the summer. The transformation includes new front facing books along two walls in the library, and an effort to make seeing the covers of books easier for students of all ages. 

“I had this dream that we could face all of the books forward, because no matter what a person says we really do just a book by its cover,” said Pam Wiese.

Wiese said she always wanted to have front facing books to allow students to see all of the colorful and eye catching covers in the library. The idea was similar to what stores do with products on their shelves. 

As part of a planned remodeling project at the library, new book shelves were installed, as well as a fresh coat of paint, new carpet, lights, book shelves, books and reorganizing the entire library itself. 

“It was by no means an easy task for our custodians,” said Wiese.

Another change in the library includes how some of the books are being organized and grouped in the elementary and middle school level. Rather than having all of the books turned sideways on a shelf, Wiese has new pull out plastic containers that can easily be taken with a student to a table to peruse. 

For example, books in the Owl Diaries series are in a plastic container, which can be removed from the book shelf to give students a better chance to find that perfect book they want to check out. The books are also being organized by grade and reading levels to help students find books that are at their grade level. 

Of course the new organization and front facing books may be a popular addition for students, it does mean a bit more work for Wiese and the staff at the library. In order to make sure that all of the front facing book slots are filled, Wiese will need to quickly replace the open slots with new books after a class comes to the library to check out books. Wiese said she isn’t concerned about some additional work, if it means that all of the changes result in books getting into the hands of more students at Henning School.

“It’s not about the library people, it’s about getting a book in students hands,” she said. 

Wiese also installed several new decorations in the library on the book shelves that features a modern farmhouse look. So far the response has been positive and Wiese said she was excited to see the reactions of students as they stepped into the new look library for the first time this fall.