16 Inspiring School Libraries That Invite Every Student to Become a Reader

Welcome them in and they’ll never want to leave.

Inspiring School Libraries

School libraries are becoming a bit rarer these days, which makes them all the more precious. Treasure yours by filling it with motivating words and artwork that draw young readers in to explore. These inspirational school libraries will give you some ideas to fit pretty much any budget. Go ahead, build a literary wonderland!

1. Create Book Smiles

Inspiring School Libraries Janice Davis

These 3-D books pack a big pop! You could easily replicate this idea using poster board and styrofoam. 

Source: Janice Davis/Coroflot

2. Imagine It All

The closer you look, the more you spot the amazing details in this awesome mural. Be sure to visit the link for close-up shots and in-progress photos.

Source: A Girl and a Glue Gun

3. Find the Magic


Inspiring School Libraries Lola Murals

Dr. Seuss is a big part of school libraries, so a mural like this will really connect with kids. After all, books really are magic!

Source: Lola Murals

4. Books Open Doors

You may not have the resources to recreate the dimensional details of this incredible library, but you could definitely paint walls (and steps!) to look like book spines.

Source: OUP Libraries/Twitter

5. Inspire Tomorrow’s Leaders

Inspiring School Libraries Classroom Pinspiration IG

What a great sentiment! There are plenty of creative ways to display this message in school libraries.

Source: Classroom Pinspirations/Instagram

6. Reading is the Ticket

Children’s book characters riding a roller coaster together? Genius! This is one amusement park every kid will want to visit.

Source: Janice Davis/Coroflot

7. Books Are Friends

What young reader wouldn’t want to join their favorite characters on this bench? (Save us the seat next to Pooh Bear!)

Source: Settlers Primary School Library Mural/Behance

8. Explore Between the Covers

Inspiring School Libraries Erica Jones

Open a book, and you open up the world. (5th graders helped create this one… how cool!)

Source: Erica Jones

9. Letters Are the Building Blocks

Letters make up the books that fill school libraries. This alphabet display from found materials is a terrific upcycling project.

Source: Risk to Learn

10. Follow the Wild Things

Inspiring School Libraries Designer Playground

We love an idea that works shelving right into the design! You can buy this decal at the link below or tap a talented local artist to paint something similar.

Source: Designer Playground

11. Put On a Show

This is the stuff school library dreams are made of! If a full-blown house is out of reach, have students create one from cardboard boxes instead.

Source: American Libraries Magazine

12. Use Your Words

If you’ve got a Cricut or other die-cut machine, you can definitely make this one happen! Have students help you brainstorm the word list for a fun cooperative project.

Source: Lyndsey Kuster

13. Go Into the Woods

Inspiring School Libraries The Guardian

Transform a corner of your library into a cool leafy glade. You can find mushroom stools for sale, but it’s also surprisingly easy to whip up your own.

Source: The Guardian

14. Travel to Fictional Worlds

Whole school idea: Each class designs and creates their own directional arrow to add to this fictional wayfinding sign.

Source: Mira Costa High Library/Flickr

15. Reading is Terrific

Every school library has room in a corner for this simple, subtle design. (Love Charlotte’s Web? Get more fun classroom ideas here.)

Source: A Girl and a Glue Gun

16. Library Of Dreams

We simply had to include this drool-worthy library design. The incredible details and that fantastic tree have us wishing we could visit it for storytime every single day.

Source: CajunKev/Flickr

Want to make the most of your book collection? Check out these 30 Tips for Setting up an Inspired, Organized Classroom Library.

Plus, Little Free Library Ideas for Schools and Playgrounds.

16 Inspiring School Libraries That Invite Every Student to Become a Reader