CMS Library Three-Year Plan:

From Library to Learning Commons

Transformation of the Library Media Center into a Learning Commons

What is a Learning Commons?

"The learning commons, sometimes called an 'information commons,' has evolved from a combination library and computer lab into a full-service learning, research, and project space." -Educause


A learning commons is a "place of teaching and learning, group work, collaboration, creativity, change, inquiry, communication, and community." -ASLC


The learning commons model places a greater view on students, accessibility, cultivating community, project-based learning, flexibility, knowledge seeking, and exploration.

Key Action Steps

  • Increase student accessibility and flexibility of space
  • Create a makerspace
  • Expand programming and student input
  • Create a collaborative classroom space

Increase Student Accessibility and Flexibility of Space

Relocate portions of shelving and decrease shelving height
  • Increases visibility within the space
  • Increases classroom management potential
  • Allows students to work in a variety of group settings
  • Allows for variations of Learning Commons use
  • Creates space for programming and school-wide events


Genrefication of collection

  • Re-organize library collection by genre
  • Benefits: accessibility; it's intuitive; supports ELA standards
  • Empowers students to find books more easily
  • Much like reading large portions of text, or digesting new knowledge, it is easier to consume information when it is presented in "small, organized chunks"
  • We can instantly identify holes/gaps in our collection
  • Data shows that it greatly increases circulation
  • CMS students will become genre experts
  • Empowers student volunteers to better navigate re-shelving


Introduce e-books and e-readers to the library collection

  • Collaborating with CSD librarians and using a mutual platform (i.e. Overdrive), increase student and faculty access to e-books and devices
  • Activate 5 Nooks the LMC already owns
  • Purchase non-web-based e-readers
  • Encourage students to BYOD


Create and install "laptop bar station"

  • Utilized for independent study and classroom use
  • Install at window level in current fiction/periodical area


Purchase mobile, sit-stand circulation desk

  • http://www.standdesk.co/
  • Increases flexibility and accessibility of Learning Commons
  • Increases and enforces positive classroom management techniques
  • Energizes and activates Learning Commons
  • Supports healthy lifestyle


Include new, mobile shelving and/or furniture

  • May be added incrementally
  • Increases flexibility and accessibility of Learning Commons


Weed materials

  • Weed antiquated materials to bring in new and current fiction and nonfiction
  • Re-shelve/evaluate/weed boxed curricular materials

Create a Makerspace

What is a makerspace?
  • "A place where young people have an opportunity to explore their own interests, learn to use tools and materials, and develop creative projects." -The Unquiet Librarian
  • "Makerspaces are collaborative learning environments where people come together to share materials and learn new skills." -MakerBridge
  • "Makerspaces, STEAM labs and fab labs are popping up in schools across the country. Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering." -Edutopia


Steps to create a makerspace

  • Collaboratively plan with Christine Eldred, CHS librarian, to develop cohesive, streamlined makerspace plan and schema to support CSD student learning
  • Expand Learning Commons by removing double-glass window and door that leads into current library office
  • Purge library office of office materials, et al.
  • Transform office space into a student-focused makerspace
  • Supply makerspace with innovative and everyday tools
  • Purchase 3D printer

Expand Programming and Student Input

Establish Learning Commons Advisory Board
  • Recruit students and conduct monthly meetings to inform programming ideas and continued updates to the Learning Commons


Create Multipurpose Room in current COW storage space
  • May be an incremental/tiered project
  • Remove wall between COW space and back storage room


Integrate programming into the school day

  • Book groups
  • Lyrical Lunches
  • Student Art Exhibits
  • Book Trailer Swap
  • Incorporate more student volunteers in the Learning Commons


Integrate additional evening programming to include families/community
  • Literary movie nights
  • Poetry Slam
  • Maker Fair
  • Gaming Night
  • Student/Parent Book Group
  • Social Media 101


Expand current collaboration with community

Create a Collaborative Classroom Space

Foster a Collaborative Relationship with the CAPS Lab
  • Potentially create a collaborative classroom space between the LC and the CAPS Lab
  • Mutually support and enhance Media Literacy and CAPS curricula