Virtual Libraries

Poster developed by Renee Gentry

Webinar - Virtual Libraries

Presented by Michele Luhtala (New Cannon High School)

Sponsored by Follett Software Company

Webinar Link -

PLC - Emerging Tech for School Librarians

Resources - (Include Apps, Flipped Learning, Flipped Libraries, Flipped Assessment, Building Knowledge Centers, Template Learning Commons Website)

Original image URL:

Title: Student

Primary Information from Webinar

  • Most school library websites only offer one way communication, i.e. information listed by librarian
  • New focus for the website - to construct a participatory website for the library
  • Video Interview with David Loertscher included an introduction of a Google template for a Virtual Learning Commons that anyone could use
  • 5 Rooms in the Learning Commons Google Template- 1. Information Center, 2. Literacy Center, 3. Knowledge Center, 4. Experimental Learning Center, 5. School Culture
  • Scanner Pro App - use this scanner with iPad or iPod to scan documents and send to Google Drive to share- this can take the place of old flat bed scanners that are difficult to use. It's mobile and easy.
  • Flipped Learning in the School Library - Kids produce instructional videos to help their peers learn

The information focused on turning the library and library website into a place where students go to participate, make comments, suggestions, etc. Many of the librarians that wrote on the webinar chat mentioned that students were not participating as much as they would like. Transforming the library & website is not easy but very necessary to engage learners.

Original image URL:

Title: Although You're Far

Secondary Information & Resources

SLJ Article - Flip This Library: School Libraries Need A Revolution by David Loertscher

Even though this article is from 2008 it is still very relevant in 2013. One of the sections includes ideas for creating the 180 flip to a Learning Commons. Last year I tried the idea of letting students check out more than 2 books which was very successful and the students had more success with our reading rewards program.

SLM Article - Toward a Learning Commons by Pamela Harland

Great article with tips for setting up a learning commons starting with small steps. The key is flexibility and keeping the users (kids and staff) in mind. Publicity is important to make sure everyone knows what is available.

Website - The Virtual Learning Commons Created by David Loertscher and Carol Koechlin

This website offers examples from elementary, middle and high school, with tips on starting a virtual learning commons and what each area should include. It was great how the elementary site had their calendar.

Slideshare - Virtual Learning Commons: A New Image of a School Library

This slideshare references various studies of library websites. The information of virtual learning commons includes what it should include and tips of how to move from one to two communication with students. One point made in the slideshare is that the virtual learning commons can become a part of the whole school culture not just about the library itself.

Blog - Ray Palin, posts tagged Learning Commons

The slideshare had many good tips and mentioned using "plain English" to facilitate access to resources which is very important. The Prezi was fantastic! It presented the transformation of the library to a learning commons. The plan and data given is something that administrators would really take a look at. After seeing it I plan to do something similar this next year.

Poster - Virtual Learning Commons

Great poster with examples for each of the 5 areas of a virtual learning commons.

Original image URL:

Title: student ipad 002

Reflection on Webinar Experience

This webinar lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes and was recorded from a previous date. The presenter ran out of time and had to post the last part of the presentation on her resources page. I really wished she could have kept going to go over all the information. I enjoyed the webinar and plan to go back to the website to view other webinars by this presenter and explore others. During this particular presentation she had some audio difficulty which was a little distracting but overall it was very good.