The role of the school library is ever expanding, let YES help you prepare for the new way to learn.

 

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The days of libraries functioning as auxiliary to a student’s education have gone, and in many schools, the library, now called a Learning Commons, has come to take center stage.

The learning commons model represents a new stage in the changing role of the school library. Books are still very important, but the space is not dominated by row after row of towering stacks. There are more commons areas that allow students and teachers to do more collaborative work.

In fact, in a learning commons, teachers and media specialists co-teach classes together — with the media specialists focusing on the digital skills kids need to master.

“One of the first things that I see when people create a learning commons is that kids come in, and they really want to be there because there’s so much going on,” said David Loertscher, a professor in San Jose State University’s School of Information, who has written extensively about the subject. “It’s a space that turns over to the user rather than the user having to adapt to the space.”

ISD launched its commons this school year — a change that was led by media specialist Jeannine Madoff. The traditional model of having all students come to the library once a week for media classes had become restrictive.

“I was feeling frustrated because the kids would start a research project with their classroom, I would be there at the beginning, then I wouldn’t see them for a week,” Madoff said on a recent weekday. “And then I’d come in, and they’d be halfway done. Here, I can take five, six days, however long we need to do it.”

Madoff now has four times as many periods to collaborate with teachers each week than she did last year.

At the same time, the district’s launch in 2013 of its digital learning initiative spurred the need to change how libraries are used. As of next near, every elementary school student will have her or his own tablet, many already do, and every middle-schooler will have a laptop. As a result, kids no longer rely on labs in their schools’ libraries for computer access, and media specialists have become more important because they help students and teachers adapt to the array of new hardware and software.

“We are hoping that this learning commons model really becomes the way we do the library media program,” said Fran Kompar, the district’s K-12 coordinator of library media services. “It is imperative that the library media specialist has time with the kids and teachers in order to make that change.”

The learning commons model represents a new stage in the changing role of the school library. Books are still very important, but the space is not dominated by row after row of towering stacks. There are more commons areas that allow students and teachers to do more collaborative work.

Is your school ready for the change? If not, it might be time to upgrade your library furniture, and even layout, to prepare your facility, and your students, for the future.

The days of libraries functioning as auxiliary to a student’s education have gone, and in many schools, the library, now called a Learning Commons, has come to take center stage.

The learning commons model represents a new stage in the changing role of the school library. Books are still very important, but the space is not dominated by row after row of towering stacks. There are more commons areas that allow students and teachers to do more collaborative work.

In fact, in a learning commons, teachers and media specialists co-teach classes together — with the media specialists focusing on the digital skills kids need to master.

“One of the first things that I see when people create a learning commons is that kids come in, and they really want to be there because there’s so much going on,” said David Loertscher, a professor in San Jose State University’s School of Information, who has written extensively about the subject. “It’s a space that turns over to the user rather than the user having to adapt to the space.”

ISD launched its commons this school year — a change that was led by media specialist Jeannine Madoff. The traditional model of having all students come to the library once a week for media classes had become restrictive.

“I was feeling frustrated because the kids would start a research project with their classroom, I would be there at the beginning, then I wouldn’t see them for a week,” Madoff said on a recent weekday. “And then I’d come in, and they’d be halfway done. Here, I can take five, six days, however long we need to do it.”

Madoff now has four times as many periods to collaborate with teachers each week than she did last year.

At the same time, the district’s launch in 2013 of its digital learning initiative spurred the need to change how libraries are used. As of next near, every elementary school student will have her or his own tablet, many already do, and every middle-schooler will have a laptop. As a result, kids no longer rely on labs in their schools’ libraries for computer access, and media specialists have become more important because they help students and teachers adapt to the array of new hardware and software.

“We are hoping that this learning commons model really becomes the way we do the library media program,” said Fran Kompar, the district’s K-12 coordinator of library media services. “It is imperative that the library media specialist has time with the kids and teachers in order to make that change.”

The learning commons model represents a new stage in the changing role of the school library. Books are still very important, but the space is not dominated by row after row of towering stacks. There are more commons areas that allow students and teachers to do more collaborative work.

Is your school ready for the change? If not, it might be time to upgrade your library furniture, and even layout, to prepare your facility, and your students, for the future.

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