Note: This is the second in a series of reflective posts that form part of a university course that I am taking. I hope that you will find something valuable in my reflections as well. You can find the first post here.
The school library has changed significantly in recent years. Gone are the quiet, dusty stacks of books organized according to a system created by a man named Dewey. Gone is the librarian emphatically shushing groups of kids completing homework. Gone are the tomes of reference materials shelved in never ending alphabetized sets. Instead, shiny new computers and tablets sit ready for groups of students to work collaboratively, coding, creating a podcast or digging deeply in to complex topics that matter to them. Books are shelved according to genre, some with covers turned outward to highlight new releases, popular authors or meaningful themes. Rather than shush, librarians move from group to group, encouraging active communication, suggesting multimedia resources and enabling students to connect with the world around them in new and innovative ways.
But...how to get from there to here? What are the key components that make a library learning commons a true learning commons?
21st Century SLLC by Bryn Coape-Arnold
Focus on the students
From designing the space to choosing materials, the number one focus should be the students. How will they use the space? What materials will be most interesting and useful to them? Where is it most efficient and meaningful for students to access those materials? The modern SLLC is a welcoming, student-centered space that invites collaboration, inquiry, creativity and community.
Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate
From teachers, to students, to community groups, the modern SLLC should be designed to promote collaboration. The physical space must be set up to enable large and small groups to work together to solve problems, create and innovate. The teacher-librarian must actively seek out opportunities to co-plan, co-teach and co-learn with other staff members, students and community partners.
The teacher-librarian in a modern SLLC seeks to inspire others. Whether by suggesting the right book to the right student, providing just-in-time professional development that allows teachers to meet their students' diverse needs or connecting with community partners to bring the outside world in to the school, the TL is always seeking ways to inspire a love of reading and a love of learning.
Collaboration, inquiry, creativity & community
Great books. A well-curated online collection. Collaborative spaces. Inquisitive minds. Creative apps. Community partners. Each and every aspect of the modern SLLC is intentionally and thoughtfully designed to create an innovative environment that fosters collaboration, inquiry, creativity and community.
Want to learn more? These resources were instrumental in the writing of this blog post.
Leading Learning - www.llsop.canadianschoollibraries.ca
Future Ready Librarians - https://futureready.org/librarians
Imagine the Possibilities - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_QnbQxnNCI
I'm Bryn, teacher, mom, book lover, athlete. I am passionate about living life with my family, teaching and learning something new all the time. I hope you find something that speaks to you here on my blog and would love to hear from you too!