A scene from the Colorado Academy Raether Library in March of this past year, pre-COVID-19, might have included several groups of Upper School students collaborating in group study rooms, a handful of Sixth Grade students curled up in armchairs reading during a Core class, and a research class being taught by a librarian in the open classroom space on the north end of the library. And while much has changed in the world since March, often in challenging ways, the physical landscape of Raether Library has changed in many exciting and positive ways.
After years of daydreaming of a day when we would have our very own Library classroom with walls, and a door, and a library full of new, cozy, comfortable, and contemporary furniture—our wishes came true, thanks to the generosity of Jennifer and Dan Goldman, parents of CA students Charlie, who is a Senior, Arianna ’17, and Alexis ’19. The new furniture includes individual study carrels, group study tables, comfortable chairs and couches for reading and visiting, and high-top tables for a quick meeting with a classmate or teacher.
While Middle and Upper School students cannot enjoy all the benefits of the beautiful new furniture this year, while we practice social distancing and other health and safety protocols, we look forward to the day when Raether Library is once again bustling and full of students.
For now, we can imagine how the students will put the new furniture and library space to use: in the new library classroom, curious students will pose questions to equally curious teachers. Adventurous readers will spend hours quietly tucked into a book on the comfy couches. Kindness will come in the form of book recommendations at the tall cafe tables, with students poring over the genre book binders. Students will study and learn together at group study tables. Leaders will be born from the book club discussions, research lessons, coding competitions, mock trial practice, and friendships grown in the newly outfitted space. The distance we have created to keep one another safe for this period of time will grow smaller, as students and teachers gather again in a space that has always been a cherished CA community hub.
For too long, the Raether Library community and library program have outshined the library furnishings. With the Goldman family’s generosity, Raether Library’s Middle and Upper School library programs will be more at home with new furniture and will invite students in and keep them there for a long time.