Library Learning Commons

A 21st Century vision for school library program delivery!

Learning Commons

The Emergence of the Learning Commons

A Learning Commons is a learning community that can be physical, virtual or both. In schools, the Learning Commons incorporates the classroom, the school library and the school board to connect students to real and virtual learning spaces.

The Learning Commons creates a network of information, people and programs for learning within a school and beyond. Universal access ensures that learning is within reach of everyone at all hours... day or night. (OLA, 2010)

Together for Learning: School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning Commons

The Role of the School Library in a Learning Commons

Where properly developed, a school's library is already the hub for networking where students and teachers can access books to nurture their love of reading along with informational texts to support their learning needs. However, as the needs of our learners evolve, so must the model for school library program delivery.

Realizing the Vision

"A Learning Commons is a vibrant, whole-school approach, presenting exciting opportunities for collaboration among teachers, teacher-librarians and students. Within a Learning Commons, new relationships are formed between learners, new technologies are realized and utilized, and both students and educators prepare for the future as they learn new ways to learn."(Together for Learning, 2010, p.3.)

Role of the Teacher-Librarian in the Library Learning Commons

In order for the vision reflected in the above quotations to become a reality, teacher-librarians are shifting their view of how the ideal school library functions. Ideally, the role of the teacher-librarian is flexible in order to accommodate the need to co-plan and implement lessons that are scaffolded and differentiated to meet the needs of the students. This collaboration creates opportunities for teachers to work with individual students, and also to deliver small group and large group lessons. In addition, the collaboration between classroom teacher and teacher-librarian allows for the sharing of knowledge regarding curriculum, technology and student learning. When two professionals share their expertise, it results in greater depth and engagement for the students.

Canadian Library Association Shares the Vision

The vision articulated in Together For Learning is also reflected in the Leading Learning Standards of Practice For School Library Learning Commons In Canada, 2014. This online document provides educators with a common set of standards of practice for new ways of thinking about how school libraries can play a key role in supporting the changing educational landscape.
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