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Your Turn

Page history last edited by Carol Koechlin 14 years, 1 month ago


Building capacity for the dynamic future of school libraries in Canada will take everyone's active participation. Please post your questions, reflections, comments and ideas on this page.


Here are a few quotes to get us started.


“It Simply Isn’t the 20th Century Any More Is It? So Why Would We Teach as Though It Was?” Stephen Heppell 2008 http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=268

"Our future is going to be determined much more by what happens in schools than by what happens in our banks. So what do we need to change?” Annie Kidder, People for Education ,Taking Charge of the Furure, Toronto Star 2008 http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/527799

"The new learning commons is at the very center of teaching and learning. No longer will the library be something that students and teachers need to remember to come to—instead it will be integrated into their lives.......... the hub of teaching and learning—a place that everyone owns and contributes to—one giant conversation that’s both a social and a learning network." Dr. David Loertscher Flip this Library: School Libraries Need a Revolution 2008 http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6610496.html?q=flip+this+library



The new 2010 document Together For Learning :School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning Commons, developed by the Ontario School Library Association (OSLA) with support from the Ontario Ministry of Education document was released Feb. 2010 .


Quote from the document:  "What is a Learning Commons?

A Learning Commons is a flexible and responsive approach to helping schools focus on learning collaboratively. It expands the learning experience, taking students and educators into virtual spaces beyond the walls of a school. 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.And best of all, as a space traditionally and naturally designed to facilitate people working together, a school’s library provides the natural dynamics for developing a Learning Commons."



Today I read a research report from the Canadian Education Association that has relevance for our work.


What did you do in school today?: Transforming Classrooms through Social, Academic and Intellectual Engagement contains research highlights of a student engagement initiative from a survey of 31,000 students in Grades 6-12 in 93 Canadian schools.



Highlights from the report conclusions:



Design intentionally for today’s world

First and foremost, effective teaching practice begins with thoughtful, intentional designs for learning –

designs that deepen understanding and open the disciplines to genuine inquiry. One of the hallmarks of

the new science of learning is its emphasis on learning with understanding.

Make it mean something

Secondly, the work students undertake also needs to be relevant, meaningful and authentic – in other

words, it needs to be worthy of their time and attention.

Effective teaching is characterized by the thoughtful design of learning tasks that have these features:

• The tasks require and instill deep thinking.

• They immerse the student in disciplinary inquiry.

• They are connected to the world outside the classroom.

• They have intellectual rigour.

• They involve substantive conversation.

Use assessment to improve learning and guide teaching

The third feature of effective practice is teachers’ use of assessment to improve learning and guide

teaching. Research in the field of assessment for learning clearly indicates that effective teachers

intentionally design assessments into their practice to enable students to think deeply about their own

learning. They use the assessment process to help students collect their thoughts, articulate what they

have found, and speculate about where they are and where they might go – equipping their students

to become more self-directed in their learning.


The Future of Learning

Here is a link to another new important document that has implications for how school libraries everywhere should function.

 The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age is a timely report for us to explore. Particularily what the authors say about Participatory Learning.It is more about process than product as learners are engaged with interactions with information and each other and then work together to co-create new meaning. The report lays down Pillars of Institutional Pedagy:10 Principles for the Future of Learning that could be the basis of a great rubric for school libraries.

From Down Under

I just received a notice about the upcoming Australian School Library Conference in Perth. I had a look at the program and speakers and discovered Mark Treadwell. Have a look at what he plans in his address to school librarians.


He is saying, that if school libraries don't make a change in their preformance they will be left in the wings as something else takes over the stage and fills the role. Hmmmm...reality stings sometimes!

He has three books on the future of schools and learning and lots of other interesting material from his website.



 Bookless Libraries 


  What do you think? 

A must read Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World edited by Heidi Hayes Jacobs is billed as the ideal guide for transforming our schools into what they must become: learning organizations that match the times in which we live. Jacobs reminds readers that form should follow function not lead it and then unpacks the need to revitalize curriculum today. She also expands on 4 school structures that effect curriculum and can either hinder or support it: the schedule; the way we group learners; personnel configurations; and the use of space both physical and virtual. Ten educational leaders join in the visioning of education to better prepare learners for their future. School library programs or facilities are not overtly discussed but there is much we can learn from this publication about the future direction of education and what school libraries should be doing to provide leadership.


Listen to an interview http://curriculum21.com/index.php?path=/home/book

Read sample chapters  http://shop.ascd.org/productdisplay.cfm?productid=109008


What will the new school library look like?


Library 2.0: Enter the Teacher Librarian Enthusiast

T.H.E. Journal - What will the new school library look like? In this first installment of our two-part library tech series, we explore the evolution of the school library--and the school librarian--and look to the opportunities that await once some basic challenges are overcome.

By Natasha Wanchek  03/25/10


A Library for Every School 

How can we make use of this international proclamation to further school libraries in Canada?








Comments (5)

Cindy Matthews said

at 9:35 am on Jun 6, 2009

From a Teacher-Librarian and CASL point of view, I see this as our Big Think to imagine and work together in creating Treasure Mountain Canada. If we are to speak beyond our own school library community, to advocate in dialogue with other stake holders, then this is the venue to spotlight our thinking. Our message of the import of school libraries relies on the evidence-based practice in the field, organizational-level data development and representation of the student voice. The collective intelligence shared and forwarded can reconvene our community for scholarly pursuits in a Canadian meta-learning commons. (Cindy Matthews)

lisaw said

at 6:55 am on Jun 8, 2009

I think this would be a great opportunity for hopefully all the provinces to get together and talk school libraries. Especially right now with so many different documents coming out across the country. The Partnership and NELI two other national groups that bring librarians together have been able to achieve many different things over the years in similar meeting formats. I think the OLA Superconference would be the best place for the meeting to happen so that attendees could also attend other School Library sessions while in Toronto.

sandra.hughes@... said

at 8:05 am on Jun 8, 2009

It is time for a national think tank to look at the future of school libraries and develop a shared vision. The learning commons concept offers hope of a positive future. We need to get the dialogue going and engage educational minds across the country in it.

Roger Nevin said

at 3:08 pm on Mar 9, 2010

The new 2010 document Together For Learning :School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning Commons, developed by the Ontario School Library Association (OSLA) with support from the Ontario Ministry of Education document will help as a guide to schools developing the Learning Commons. See Quotes above for the link to the document.

Carol Koechlin said

at 2:45 pm on Mar 17, 2010

Should a Treasure Mountain North be developed for Canada?

Please add your comments and help brainstorm.

Yes, but I don't think we should totally isolate teacher-librarians from other librarians. It might be helpful to ask a few others to keep us mindful of the whole context: e.g., 1) Amanda Etches-Johnson, the user-experience librarian at McMaster who also teaches in the Library faculty at Western, representing the academic sector; 2) someone from TPL to represent the public sector; 3) Beth Jefferson, from BiblioCommons, to represent the leading-edge library technology sector; 4) the guys from Zotero, who could provide a connection web for school librarians as they do for academic librarians - they said last year (at the One Big Library Unconference in Toronto that they might be interested in doing this.) If Zotero could help us work together cross-Canada, that would build a lot more capacity. (Kathy Kawasaki)

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