ACCI Library Learning Commons

2014-2015 Report

The library looks a bit different...

It was important to strike a balance between new ideas and a fresh approach and holding on to successful past practices. Physical changes to the library are more than just superficial...the space contributes to the overall atmosphere and sets the tone. Our goal: an open, user-friendly environment which encourages collaboration and creativity.

A user-friendly environment to support all our library users

A busy space is the sign of a successful library learning commons. The space needs to be open for staff and students to access it during and around class schedules. This year the library was consistently open from 8:15-4:00 so that users could visit the library before school, at lunch, and after school. There needs to be reliable technology and supplies for all types of activities. New iPads were purchased to make a realistic class set of 30. The refurbished computer lab has been popular, and the presentation area, classroom space, and conference room support various needs of the school.

Building and refreshing the collection

The collection is not a static thing. Damaged, inappropriate, and outdated resources need to be "weeded" and new ones purchased to fit the school's ever changing needs. From April 2014-April 2015, 685 items were removed and 787 items were added.

Supporting school and board initiatives

Promoting Reading for the Love of It

Despite all the predictions of a "paperless" future, books are still here! The benefits of reading for pleasure are well known: The library has always been that special place where people can share their love of reading...we work to provide the right environment to nurture readers of all levels.

Collaboration, creation, and critical thinking

As the "hub" of the school, the Library Learning Commons is a place for doing and learning and creating. It is a place to access technology, to explore, to collaborate. It is a physical place and a virtual place.

Raising awareness

The Library Learning Commons reflects the values of our community. Along with lifelong learning, the library encourages social justice and action. The students themselves, with their energy, optimism, and sense of fairness, show a real desire to learn and make change and it is exciting to focus their attention and awareness.

Final thoughts as we look to the future...

The Library Learning Commons is like a city square: everyone ends up here and there is a lot going on. That the library is well-used there is no doubt. Just come during lunch when every computer and table is full. All together, the library hosted over 600 events and classes. (I know! That's a lot! We were shocked too when we added it all up.)

There is work to be done, however. So many teachers just want to use the resources without collaborating with the teacher-librarians. We want to reach out to the various subject departments to work with us to increase our students' engagement, research skills, and critical thinking with meaningful activities.

As for the use of resources, the average monthly checkout per student in April 2015 was 0.54. Although this is more than twice the average across the board in Secondary (0.25 checkouts per student), more students need to be encouraged to use our resources and, especially, to read for pleasure. Next year we will continue our efforts to promote reading, and reach out to English and Literacy teachers to have students check out books of their own choice.

With all these challenges to come, it is a good thing summer is here to rest and recharge as we look forward to an exciting new school year!

And it all worked out...beautifully!

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