Good Hope Seminary High School showcased their newly renovated library to teachers and pupils last Tuesday.
The 150-year-old school had a celebration to honour the opening of the Otto Foundation-designed library, which has whiteboard tables for pupil to write on while studying, among other practical elements.
“Libraries are more than just a space where you take out books. It’s a space to build community, for people to network, it’s a space that proves literary solitude,” said Xanele Puren, a child centred special designer for the Otto foundation.
“We wanted to make sure that this space ticked all the boxes and a place where adults and learners feel comfortable and welcome and the design of the space should pull people into it because then they will be more included to explore the books.
“We decided on the name Hope library as it ties into the school’s name, hope as a concept can be drawn into the space as well. We chose the sun as the main icon for the space as sunrise gives hope for a new day, new possibilities and sunset is a time for reflection, so all of these keywords can be found in books as well,” she said.
Frouwien Bosman, the CEO of Otto foundation, says it’s a space for pupils to do group work and to collaborate with each other besides just taking out books.
“The space says something to them about the value of the activity they are about to do, so when they walk in here they know they are valued as a person, they deserve a beautiful and well curated space and also that we value books and reading so it’s celebrated here,” said Ms Bosman.
The school’s reading champions were delighted with the new space.
Grade 9 pupil Inathi Singama said she found the space beautiful, inviting and vibrant, while Grade 11 pupil Chulumanco Didiza says that it is a big difference.
“I feel like the before and after is just wow, it’s very different, the colours are so welcoming and different, I really like it,” Ms Didiza said.
“This library has changed so much and there is such a good variety of books and I think there is a book for everyone to enjoy,” said Grade 11 pupil Malika Abrahams.
Alison Monnig, an English teacher at Good Hope Seminary for 36 years, says it was a pleasure to be involved with the Otto Foundation in the refurbishment of the library.
“It’s light and bright and airy and inviting. You can just see the looks of amazement, they are all surprised and delighted at this warm inviting safe space that is here for them to meet with their friends, and to work on their projects and to get books, so it’s a really a pleasure to see this happening,” Ms Monnig said.