As our library facility moves closer to completion(December?), I’ve been pondering how to use the new space we’ve created more effectively, and create a student-friendly facility.
At NECC, I was fortunate enough to meet David Loertscher(guru in library field!), who shared with me his new book, The New Learning Commons: Where Learners Win, cowritten with Carol Koechlin and Sandi Zwaan, which provides an innovative vision of how to transform a library into a “learning commons.”
The authors suggest a more client-centered space, more “Google” than “Microsoft,” and envision a team of school leaders(librarian, tech coordinator, literacy specialists) working together with students in an ever-changing configuration of services and support.
They describe an “open commons”-a friendly open learning space, where “everyone owns, works, and collaborates in a collegial social environment.”
Another space in the commons is an “experimental learning center” which hosts training and display of exemplary work in the school, supports professional development, and is a “learning lab” for the school.
The website for the Learning Commons is similarly collaborative–supported by the librarian and tech coordinator jointly, but built collaboratively also with the help of students, teachers, etc.
Rather than being supported by one librarian, the center is supported by various staff who make up a leadership team, scaffolding the curriculum.
It reminds me somewhat of the model Kim Cofino has worked on at ISB.
It’s a fascinating model–and in a great web 2.0 model, the authors have established a wiki for readers to contribute comments or discussion points.
2 thoughts on “A new model?”
Thanks for posting this, Carolyn. We should be building a new high school in the next five years or so, and this looks like a great resource to help develop the learning environment we need.
I need to get this book! You’re right – this is exactly the type of model that we’re developing at ISB and I would love to see how the experts in the field describe the functionality of this kind of space and this kind of staffing. It will be interesting to see if they have outlined the same kinds of divisions that we have…