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Advantage Extras: Back-to-School 2016

Extreme Makeover: Library Edition

Read the full article by Amy Lunsford, Woodfin Elementary media specialist and Katy Darty, N. Buncombe High School media specialist :

“Our students are amazed by their new library,” says Amy Lunsford, media specialist at Woodfin Elementary. “This media center transformation is a blessing to our school.”

Thanks to generous donations and fundraising help from the nearby Reynolds Mountain Homeowners Association, the Woodfin Elementary library has been transformed into a bright, contemporary learning center. This project caps a two-year investment from the Reynolds Mountain HOA. The main goal was to increase students’ access to technology.

The Reynolds Mountain Homeowners wanted to get involved because we understand the value of a good education and we wanted to make sure our neighbors’ children have the best education possible,” says Reynolds Mt. resident Lori Herlin. “Working at the elementary school level is important to get the children started on the right track.”

Now over a year's worth of hard work and raising over $100,000 for the project has finally come to fruition. The changes are dramatic. Not only equipped with new technology features, the library is more accessible. In the past, students had to stand on stools to reach books on high shelves. Now the shelves are within easy reach. Creating collaborative work groups was hindered by having to move heavy tables and chairs. Today, the furniture has wheels.

More than just a library, this new, modern media center serves as a place for tutoring small groups of students, parent events, staff meetings, and even a performance space for visiting theatre troupes.

Education is the door to a better world so our community wants to help make this school the very best if can be. We try to supplement and enrich the really great education they are already receiving and support the very dedicated, caring and talented teachers and staff at Woodfin Elementary School.  It is our pleasure to be involved with these children,” says Ms. Herlin.

Woodfin Elementary is a wonderful school for students to learn and grow. Thanks to the partnership with Reynolds Mountain Homeowner’s Association, the Woodfin Elementary media center has transformed into a vital learning center for students and the community!


North Buncombe High School’s library also got a makeover! This project was a practical hands-on learning experience for the Interior Design, art, and welding students! Led by media specialist Katy Darty, the students helped transform their library into a modern and welcoming space! Ms. Darty describes how a simple idea turned into a meaningful school project!

When we started this project we had no idea how much it would grow. We came up with the idea of updating our library, but we didn't know where to start so we teamed up with our Interior Design II class for help. Our students brainstormed and came up with our color scheme and proposed ideas of how they wanted our space to change. We listened to their ideas and used them to guide us in the changes we made to our space.

We also had help from other areas of our school. The Interior Design students did most of the sanding, priming, and painting, as well as updating our coffee tables with old yearbook photos from extra NBHS yearbooks.  Our welding class created new magazine shelves out of extra book shelves. Our art teacher approached us about having our students paint murals on the wall and our computer chairs in the style of famous works of art.

Much of what we created was done using very little money. Our biggest expense was fabric to recover our old chairs. The paint we used was donated, we used to add fun pillows, rugs, and bean bag chairs for free. Plus, we covered our circulation desk with over 700 painted rulers we ordered for free through Ingles Tools for Schools program.

The changes we've made have completely transformed our library, and it is so much more welcoming now. You can't help but smile as soon as you walk through the doors.

We are also have more students using the library now; every morning before 8 we are packed! Making the library remodel a school wide project also created ownership with our students. They feel like the library is their space and it is.

This experience has also really inspired me as a librarian too. Before this remodel, I never really thought about seeking help from outside the library.  Now I realize that my greatest resource is my own school! Our CTE and art students have played such a pivotal role in our library's transformation and it never occurred to me before that I could look within my school's own programs for help. 

I just can't believe we have been able to do as much as we have in a two years and I can't wait to see how we continue to change.

If you’d like to learn more about how the North Buncombe High library remodel is inspired other media specialists across the country, log on to

Click HERE to read the article written by Katy Darty for School Library Journal.

Want to attend the Leader in Me Presentation by Sean Covey? Go to to learn more.


Coming soon: Full Resolution Pictures from the Enka Intermediate Dedication Ceremony and video of the event.

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