How does it work?
A learning commons library uses a flex schedule which means classes use the library when they need it not because it's their library day. This means that I must collaborate with teachers, so I can set-up stations, library resources, and have min-lessons prepared that extend classroom learning in the library. The library has become a place where students meet to collaborate, communicate, innovate, and share with their class, small groups and individually. When the students are in the library they maybe working independently with a parent volunteer, with their teacher, or librarian depending on the task. On Wednesday of each week the next week's schedule is developed. I start by blocking out programs, teams meetings, and any other meetings I want to attend. I leave the schedule at the circulation desk for teachers to sign-up. At the end of the week, I type up the schedule in excel. I also check to see if there's a class who maybe missing out on the great things the library has to offer.
How's It Going So Far?
We just started this a month and a half ago. Change takes time. So far I see the positive impact on students. They love being able to exchange their library books anytime during school the day on-demand instead of just having a class checkout day. The library as a learning commons is building student efficacy and independence. While the teacher and librarian teach in the library in the learning commons the student is in charge of their personal learning goals. The following is an idea my friend uses, Lee Glover the librarian from Ferguson Elementary.
- Every child gets a 20 minute library time each week. Same day/time each week.
- Every child chooses one of the tasks on the Personal Learning Goal sheet before coming to the library. In this way, students will practice using the whole library and all of the resources available.
- Students will be limited to 2 weeks of Makerspace activities. These are not "play" activities. Students have to read, follow directions and think to complete all of the Makerspace activities.
- Students "x" off each a number each time they complete an activity. When no more numbers, then that activity is not a choice for them any longer in that 9 weeks.
Future Plans at Ed White E-STEM Library
A2:Libraries are the center of the school. We are like the school’s living room. As librarians we are one of the key players to set the tone. So if we help, listen to others, lead with kindness, offer a place to create, and innovate it’s contagious. #txlchat https://t.co/K455dGxiBz— Tamiko Brown (@booksforkiddos) September 26, 2018