Library as learning space

Designed into these learning stories:


Illustration by Future Lab

The school library acts as a ‘physical-digital’ hub that merges a multi-purpose physical space and virtual resources. The physical space is flexible, comfortable and full of engaging, stimulating material. It has inviting places to work and socialise, comfortable furniture and is able to be changed to accommodate individual or group work spaces. The ‘digital space’ has broadband access, an open network and is available ‘anytime, anywhere’.

Jose is a student who first uses the library in the morning before his first lesson to access his school profile on the school’s personalised learning environment. He updates his portfolio to include two new activities he has started and writes comments on what he is doing in them. He then links this information directly to his social networking page, which he is able to access in the library’s open network. He meets his friend Rosa, who has come to use the machines in the library to finish some research for a history project she is completing with a group of students. She is being helped by the librarian to access the museum archive online and to request old film clips from a national film library. She recommends the resources she has found to others in her project group using the class page on the school’s virtual learning environment.

After Jose and Rosa talk about what she has found, they meet up with some others from their class and plan the evening’s social activities, using their mobile phones to call and send text messages to friends and classmates.

In an afternoon lesson, Jose returns to the library for group learning sessions that involve learners of different ages working on cross-curricular projects. Jose’s group is working on a project on young people’s consumer habits and his task is to research advertising practices aimed at his age group. As he can access all the library’s resources throughout the school, he begins his work on the project later in the day when he has some free time in another class.

Students can also access the school’s learning environment and library resources at home. In the evening, Rosa finds that the film clips have been sent to her and shares them with her classmates through the class page. She also uploads and adds the videos to her school’s library online film collection. She writes descriptions of the videos that she also uploads to the library site so others can search for and access them at a later date.

Jose returns to the library in the evening with some friends for a creative arts workshop that involves other members of the school and wider community. The workshop teaches the participants how to make short films using video cameras and video editing software. Jose and his friends hope to enter a film in a national short documentary film competition later that year.

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