Ah, hygge… The Danish term for me conjures images of a fireplace, a steaming mug of hot chocolate, the purring of my cats, and a soft blanket. I only just recently took into consideration the hygge of my library. I am truly blessed to work in an absolutely wonderful space. Looking beyond it’s functionality, I notice the way the sun shines through the windows and illuminates the stacks, the charming student artwork carefully displayed, the cozy seating areas with beanbag chairs.
Hygge though, by definition, is more than just a cozy appearance. It is also a mindset and an attitude and the reason that the Danish are “the happiest people on earth.” In order to create a true atmosphere of hygge, I need to be mindful in my communication with students in order to ensure that the space is not merely pleasant or attractive, but welcoming and warm.
Why is this important? The life of a child nowadays is stressful; I daresay a good bit more so than when I was a young lass. My library is the one place in school where students aren’t being graded. There is no pressure here. Kids who enter need to be welcomed with a warm smile and an open heart (before they are accosted for a hall pass!)
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