The Multiple Intelligences Library

The New City library is the world’s first multiple intelligence library and reflects the school’s belief that children learn in many different ways.

The New City School Multiple Intelligences Library is a joyful place where all the students look forward to being. It is not only an aesthetically pleasing environment, but is also a place full of energy, learning, and exploring. The library possesses many of the components of a traditional library, such as an extensive collection of over 14,000 wonderful children's books. We employ a full-time librarian who helps instill a love of reading and learning in our students. Students in each grade are introduced to a variety of genres and are read to during every library period. 

In addition to this more traditional role, however, there are numerous other aspects of the New City Multiple Intelligences Library. A Multiple Intelligences Coordinator regularly works with the students to incorporate various activities to enhance a year-long MI theme focus. The space itself was designed with a number of components that help enhance the use of multiple intelligences. There is a small amphitheater that is wonderful for small performances, storytelling, and role-playing. A larger area works well for bigger groups of students to gather for guest speakers, student presentations, and performances. The Exploratorium has dry erase walls, a sink, and a tile floor which allows for numerous art projects or other types of “messy” work. There are many puzzles and games throughout the library as well as miscellaneous items to touch and explore.

The space and the curriculum are designed to allow students to use all of their intelligences to interact with the written word. The librarian and the MI specialist work together to create an environment where students can relax, explore, create, read, write, problem-solve, role-play, and think.


Library skills are taught at each grade level, and range from teaching children to use the electronic library system, to understanding different literary genres, to teaching research tools and skills, to exploring the online database and catalog. Children of all ages are read to regularly and are introduced to new works by the librarian. In addition, children learn to make appropriate book choices that are right for their reading level and interests. Be sure to check out our "Too Good To Miss" book recommendations.


An important aspect of the library program are the weekly MI centers that are set up in the library to expose students to activities that will have them actively involved in games, projects, book, art activities, role-playing, writings, and reflections within the library setting. Examples of the centers include small performances of stories that have been read, art projects inspired by a particular illustrator, using tangrams to further explore stories, among many others. Using the eight intelligences, students can always discover a new way to be engaged by the wealth of books and stories that they have available to them.

How one wins is as important as how one loses.
Joe Corbett, New City School Information Specialist


The MI library is also the hub of New City’s Games Program. The purpose of this program -- coordinated by the librarian -- is to help students learn not only the skills of the games they will play, but to allow the students to explore the logical-mathematical, spatial, linguistic, and of course the personal intelligences.

Students are taught the various games (Checkers, Chess, Othello, and Boggle) and through their play, enhance their problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Grade-level tournaments are held to reinforce good sportsmanship, and the winners from each grade go on to play against an administrator.

From first to sixth grade, students get the opportunity to learn a new skill, practice that skill, and compete with others in an environment that focuses on the values of sportsmanship and fair play. A hallmark of these tournaments is the stress that is placed on sportsmanship. How one wins well and loses well is a constant refrain.

All of these components come together to make the library an important and well-loved space at New City.