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School Library Design, Facilities and Resources for Sustainable Cognitive and Social Development of Students: An Evaluative Case Study

School Library Design, Facilities and Resources for Sustainable Cognitive and Social Development of Students: An Evaluative Case Study

Dr. Paulette Stewart
Faculty of Humanities and Education
Library and Information Studies

This evaluative case study examined the perceived effects that new school library functional and Inspirational spaces, relevant resources, and comfortable facilities had on students' cognitive and social development. The principal and teacher-librarian were interviewed. A questionnaire was administered to eight students from grades 10-13 who had used the old library and new library. Findings revealed that the design of the library, the resources and the facilities seem to positively impact students' cognitive ability and social development. It is recommended that Ministries of Education should redesign school libraries where necessary on a phased basis in order for its users to achieve the perceived educational and social benefits experiences by these participants.


As a space, the school library should be designedto facilitate the development of students’ interpersonal,academic and problem-solving skills (Chicago Architecture Foundation, (2013). Therefore, the research was conducted to: find out if there is an increase in the level of library use, and determine the perceived effects that the library design, resources and modern facilities have on students’ cognitive and social development.


This is a qualitative research using the evaluative case study approach. Data collection included interviews with principal, teacher librarianand students and three unobtrusive observations of the library while in use by the students. Purposive samplingwas used to select eight students from grades 10 -13.


The findings show that appropriate library design coupled with relevant resources and appropriate facilities can facilitate cognitive and social development in students. This type of educational practice can lead to sustainable cognitive and social development that will help prepare students for further studies and continuous harmonious interaction.


The design of a high school library space is an important and vital element that should be considered when constructing or re-designing a school library.

Relevance to Social and Cultural Development

Exposure to libraries that are designed to developsocial skills through collaborative work -where students can connect, create, and share their knowledge-is equipping students with life-long learning skills which will enable them to live as responsible citizens in the Caribbean and beyond.


The new Library


The Rain Harvesting Feature

A section of the interior of the library

Students reading in a relaxing atmoshere

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