Marian Catholic College opened in 1988 on the Kenthurst site with an enrolment of 53 Year 7 students. It is a co-educational Catholic systemic school of the Parramatta Diocese and now caters for over 1,000 students from Years 7 to 12. Marian Catholic College wanted a total redesign of their library that would reflect the schools aspiration of inspiring excellence through innovation.

To achieve their aims Marian Catholic College appointed Kingfisher, a leading Australian Educational furniture company, to redesign and totally refit the College Library, guided by the Teacher Librarian, Jody McDonnell. The College’s key design objective was to create a flexible, ergonomic space that was also bright and attractive to students.

Jody Mcdonnell commented:

“The senior students love the new space and the comfortable bright furniture, which they use when they are on a study period. The Learning Common feels comfortable and Ottomans contribute to the collaborative learning that takes place during these studies.”

marian-catholic-college-library2Providing opportunities for students to work together and collectively solve problems are seen as an important counterpoint to formal teaching spaces and the new library design can now offer teachers a viable alternative. Three collaborative work rooms and collection spaces are dotted throughout the library assisting in creating separate zones and quiet areas for the students.

Overall Jody has been surprised at the extent to which the new design has positively impacted both on the students and all who use the space. Jody added, when she asked a student why he was in the library at lunch on a lovely sunny day – he stated “why wouldn’t I – it is great in here”

Jody Mcdonnell also commented:

“The school teaching staff love the bright and light spaces, and noted that the custom designed low circulation desk provides a welcoming and inviting information resource for students and removes the normal ‘barrier’ feeling.”

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