IT’S the kind of library that is every inquisitive child’s dream.
The library at Front Lawn Junior School offers endless hours of knowledge and discovery, whether it be learning about the Romans or the history of Havant.
Now the Leigh Park facility is vying for a top award to be named the best designed school library in the country.
Despite the work being done on a shoestring, the innovative library has clearly impressed judges at the School Library Association.
The junior school has some prestigious company in the top three of the competition.
One of the finalists is Cheltenham College in Gloucestershire – one of the top public schools in England.
Its library was given a makeover thanks to a £675,000 donation from a former school pupil.
Front Lawn, on the other hand, was done with just a few thousand pounds and lots of rallying round by teachers and parents.
Old school furniture and computers were put to good use and books and resources were picked up at car boot sales.
Derek Langford, part-time library manager, said: ‘We feel we have won already in getting to the final three out of 23 schools, given the work that has gone into it on a relatively low budget.’
The library opened last year after a room in the school was given a bright makeover.
It features hundreds of books for all interests.
There is a discovery zone, with artefacts and fossils that the children can look at.
On the wall is a range of clocks showing different times around the world.
On the walls are quotes from famous figures in history, such as Martin Luther King and Anne Frank.
The school held an Olympic-inspired readathon, with medals for those reading the most.
Fittingly, the library’s motto is aspire and achieve.
Mr Langford said: ‘One half is a quiet reading area and the other half is a discovery zone where the children can explore, look at fossils and work on the computers.
‘The library was all done with new colours and new themes.
‘It was quite a lot of work.
‘It’s been vibrantly designed using things of interest for the kids.
‘The main aim is to allow the children not only to access books, but create a learning centre.’
Also in the running is The Duston School, in Northampton, a specialist business and science school. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in October.