An exciting transformation could be coming to a Dallas ISD library near you! District libraries will soon be reimagined through Project R.E.A.D., Dallas ISD’s library redesign initiative and the outcome of a yearlong partnership between Apple and Dallas ISD.
“Libraries are the hub of our campuses,” said Tim Linley, executive director of Academic Enrichment. Linley’s team is excited for this innovative opportunity to totally reenvision how libraries operate and serve our schools.
Apple has been a key partner in this endeavor since the very first visioning meetings. Learning specialists from Apple directly facilitated the design team meetings, leading the team through various exercises to formalize and deepen our vision of what libraries can become across Dallas ISD.
Additionally, Apple has shared its keen understanding of how to maximize the use of space, as demonstrated through its retail stores, ensuring that space and purpose are seamlessly woven together to create an ideal experience for the user.
The design team, made up of teachers, principals, campus librarians, central staff and Department of Academic Enrichment staff, has been working toward the goal of evolving libraries to the next level. The team came up with four themes for Project R.E.A.D.; Cultural Key, Inquiry and Literacy, Campus Hub, and Infinite. Learn more about the themes at www.dallasisd.org/projectread.
Priorities for this initiative include refreshing library spaces, updating technology, and expanding services beyond students to include the staff and surrounding community of each school.
Creating more experiences for students is a top priority in Project R.E.A.D. and that starts with the right R.E.A.D. Lead at a school. The R.E.A.D. Lead is an educator, researcher, curator, and learner. This could be a librarian or a teacher who will act as the key ingredient in creating a dynamic and successful R.E.A.D. Lab.
Apple’s professional learning experts are custom-designing the curriculum for the R.E.A.D. Lead cohort training that will take place throughout the 2021-2022 school year. Not only is Apple designing this one-of-a-kind curriculum, but its specialists will be delivering the training as well.
R.E.A.D. Zones will be one of the top ways schools can create experiences for their student population with designated areas such as a video studio, podcasting studio, coding area, or model council zone.
These zones will be designed by the campus R.E.A.D. Lead, in partnership with the campus principal, teachers, and possibly students as well. R.E.A.D. Leads will be equipped with all of the action research skills necessary to design these zones through the Apple-designed training they will receive throughout this school year.
In the spring of 2021, schools had the opportunity to apply to be a part of a Project R.E.A.D. cohort, and the selected cohorts were announced over the summer. These 45 Cohort 1 and 34 Cohort 2 schools will launch their R.E.A.D. Labs in the spring of 2022. See the list of 2021-2022 R.E.A.D. Lab Schools.
What will change?
The physical flow of the library space will be redesigned to facilitate the three key design principles: Spark Creativity, Build Bridges, Expand Horizons.
Some examples: Bookshelves in the middle of a R.E.A.D. Lab will be removed to open up space and encourage collaboration and connection; new modular furniture will allow greater flexibility and collaboration; large circulation desks will be removed as R.F.I.D. tags will empower students to check out books on their own, freeing up the R.E.A.D. Lead to work on facilitating learning experiences.
The first cohort of R.E.A.D. Labs will go live in the Spring of 2022. The goal is for this exciting initiative to roll out to all schools over the next few years.
What’s not changing?
“Our READ labs will always be a place where our scholars can find a book,” shared Linley. “Print, audio and digital formats of books will be provided to accommodate the different learning styles of all students.”