Thursday, April 9, 2009

Flipping the Library

I got a little behind this year in keeping up with my professional journals. Every month a new edition of School Library Journal would appear and I wanted to put my hands on either side of my face and do the Munch scream. This is the long way of saying I just finished the December issue, and one of the most exciting articles on school libraries I have ever read.

Flip this library: School libraries need a revolution, not evolution by David Loertscher lays out the blueprint for change in student and staff services for school libraries that we need to implement. The Learning Commons model re-casts the school library as a very different space.

It is both physical and virtual, with flexible support staff such as literacy coaches, tech specialists, and other specialist area teachers working collaboratively to create new learning experiences and co-planned/taught units with core subject teachers. Supporting and showcasing the best teaching and learning practices needs support, and the Learning Commons is designed to provide that environment with the professional development and learning and resources required for success.

The Learning Commons looks very different than the typical library, the biggest change being flexibility of philosophy. Flexible space means moveable furniture that allows for quick shifts in floor plan for various functions and activities, small and large group uses, and action research activities. Virtual space also has to be flexible, and the Learning Commons is an ongoing conversation with digital resource available 24/7, and information flowing between all members of the learning community.

Imagine the CCHS Learning Commons as a dynamic resource for students, teachers and administrators revolving around academic, information, artistic and community needs. As Liz Lemon says on 30 Rock, "I want to go to there."

Paradigm Flip - chart courtesy of David Loertscher (double click for enlarged image).

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

I am Here for the Learning Revolution by Wesley Fryer

uploaded 5/23/08

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