TMC7 Brooks

“The library is in the hallways? That’s crazy!”: Transforming a traditional school library into an embedded library model

by Amanda Brooks

This paper depicts how a pre-school to grade twelve school in British Columbia adopted and implemented a unique embedded school library model. The author shares background, challenges and successes in this journey where the physical school library is weeded, re-located and re-designed for a variety of locations in the school. 

Amanda Brooks is the Junior School Librarian at Mulgrave Independent School in West Vancouver. Her library career began as a teenager working at the local public library and has taken her through diverse roles in university libraries and legal information departments. Amanda (known as Ms. Brooks or Ms. Books to her students) strives to embody the spirit of Barbara Bottner's "Miss Brooks Loves Books" in relentlessly seeking for the perfect book for the most reluctant reader. Her educational background includes a Master’s Degree in Information (Library Studies branch) and a Bachelor’s Degree in the Arts, with a major in Medieval Studies and minor in English Literature.

Read the paper.


  1. Amanda, this is a very unique transformation. I'd love to see photos of what it looks like in real life. Where do you find you and the other library staff then spend most of your time?
    Diana M

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hello Diana, I glad this topic was of interest to you. I'm currently putting together a slide deck for my roundtable discussions that will also be posted here. I had taken some informal in-progress videos which I hope to include as well. I teach 18 45 minute classes a week so depending on the class, I either begin in the Library Hub room or the classroom. Otherwise I have a desk in the hallway just outside the Library Hub room.


    3. Hello Amanda, this is fascinating research you have completed which shows innovation and stepping out of the box! The fact that your stats improved over the year means you were able to convince all patrons to be empowered readers! I would also love to see your slides!

  2. Amanda, this is such a cool concept! I Googled images of your school to get a visual. It's such a beautiful campus, so modern and unique. I love that the uniqueness of how the space is used happens inside the building, as well.

  3. One important thing you might measure is what percent of your day is spent on this unique shelving and display and the amount of time coteaching. Certainly the push for wide reading in any topical unit can contribute to deep learning and a combination of physical and digital books is a factor. I like the idea that something fresh to read is always available and this happens in the palm of the hand as well as in the hallway. Success to you.

  4. The embedded librarian works in academic post-secondary settings as well. The collaboration between educators makes this concept work.

  5. Amanda I spent today in a brand new high school and they designed the building so that the library learning commons is halfway between the main floor and the classrooms -- the students pass by the LLC every day at least once -- and still they will have the same old problems we all do. The radical transparency of the model you are experiencing eliminates the need for an going marketing of your collection. I wonder how the model has affected your ability to teach and work with classes on projects -- have you had to equally remodel your digital library space? Are you still able to do read-alouds and have group discussions or are they in different spaces as well? Do you have a hand at all in the digital literacy development of the students? Can you supervise clubs and group inquiry? I hope you'll keep reporting on the decisions you're making as each year progresses.


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