The Vineyard School library

We aim to re-imagine the school library. Join us!

Photograph: Benedetta Johnson

Why are we doing this?


By looking at the needs and wants of our children, families and staff our aim is to co-create a non-classroom space that transforms the school experience outside of lesson time and enables a richer reading culture.

Our library should inspire, encourage self-learning, enable discovery and feed curiosity. Read more here.

Image courtesy of IDEO

How will we do it?


We are using world class design thinking to re-imagine our children’s new library.

Working in small teams, we are following a curriculum developed by the innovation consultancy IDEO and +Acumen, a global learning community for social change-makers with 300,000 students from 190 countries working to move the world forward.

Watch this 90" video to learn about the process three phases: inspiration, ideation and implementation.


Photograph: Benedetta Johnson

Who is involved?


Project lead: Maria Emilia Dutto (Millie) is a design thinking expert who has used human centered design to transform services at the British Library and libraries for Camden Council.

Our extraordinary team includes parents and teachers working together on five streams:

  1. design thinking and new vision
  2. space design
  3. content strategy
  4. new IT system
  5. library service management

Meet them! Dennis Flood, Viv Cross, Carolina Annand, Michele Triegaardt-Cook, Aashima Sharma, Heba El-Rimali, Amy Salem, Edu Garcia Carreras, Colin Shaw, Zsofia Dedinszky, Joana Rizzo, Beth Glaves, Margherita Trotta and Alex Rofe.

Be part of the fun. Join us!

Photograph: Benedetta Johnson

Two goals - Two phases


Goal I / Phase I: to understand through the design thinking process the needs for the library and frame a new vision, translate the findings into proposed designs, produce costings, assess viability and create a proposal for school wide decision making. This will be done at minimum cost and will feed into Goal II.

Phase I estimated time frame: 2018


Goal II / Phase II: subject to school wide decision making to build a new re-imagined library service based on the learnings from Phase I. This phase would include construction work.

Phase II estimated time frame: 2019

We have seen what is possible!


In May, we tested library experimental areas with children of all levels in school (including KS1).

Based on the results from the inspiration research phase, we tested different activities and layouts within the library space:

  • an overall more minimalist and relaxing environment,
  • a quiet area,
  • a playing area,
  • comfy bean bags, a gazebo for lying outdoors,
  • stage seating for group reading,
  • exciting magazines to flick at lunchtime,
  • Roald Dahl word searches,
  • mindfulness colouring pages and even birds singing that seemed to be hidden in the library one Friday during lunchtime.
  • Families with siblings could also enjoy the library together on a weekday from 3.30 to 5pm.

Now, this fun phase of testing ends.

We closed the experimental library in order to give the team space to evaluate students and teachers feedback. We need to define how we can take the best ideas forward. This will involve a close look at the cost, effort and sustainability.

Thank you for the for the great support the library team has received.

We have learned what an improved library could do for children, teachers, staff and the entire Vineyard community.


Experimental library photo gallery!


Can you spare one hour of your time at lunchtime?


The Vineyard School Library, currently for KS2 children, only opens when there is a parent volunteer present. All we need is one parent for one hour during lunchtime (12.10pm-1.10pm).

Running the library is easy and fun:

  • Supervise children and ensure behaviour is appropriate
  • Welcome children, engage them and show them what is available (books, magazines, colouring etc.)
  • Help children to borrow and return books
  • Ensure children return to class at the correct time
  • Quickly tidy up encouraging the children to help

Please note:

  • You will need DBS certification. You can get this here
  • Donations welcome: magazines, bean bags and cushions. All items can be donated or loaned. Need to have fire regulation label.

Send an email to pta@vineyardpta.org