Redefining the Library

libraryAfter almost 12 months of construction some classes, art and the library are about to move into the new Junior School building. The library is very big with three distinct working spaces. In the picture it occupies the first floor from the tree on the far left until the end of the tall vertical windows – just over two thirds of the length in the photo.

Today at our staff meeting a small group met to review the functions and purpose of a library and a librarian. The meeting focused on possibilities and avoided reasons why we couldn’t do something. It was a really positive and potentially exciting discussion.

Before the meeting I had the opportunity to explore some ‘favourite tweets’ from Judy O’Connell @heyjude:

  • A Vision For 21st Century Learning – video at Vodpod (2 minutes 10 seconds)
  • 21st Century Learning – video at Vodpod (4:05)
  • Pivots for change in school libraries – blog post at Information Literacy Meets Library 2.0
  • The Life of a New Media Teacher Librarian – slide presentation (with video) at SlideShare
  • Libraries of the Future – blog post at Hey Jude
  • Simply Books – twitter feed @simplybooks
  • A Librarian’s 2.0 Manifesto – video at Vodpod (3:55)
  • JISC – Libraries of the Future – video at Vodpod (9:41)
  • Transformation Lab – Library 2.0 prototype – blogpost at Hey Jude
  • Academic Libraries in Transition – What Studnets Have to Say – video at Vodpod (59:17)

One teacher suggested the possibility of changing the name of the facility – ie not calling it a library – so that students won’t have a pre-conceived idea as to its function. In other words, we want our new library to be different to how it has been. It would be good if the name reflected some of the new functions, eg research, use of digital media/tools in learning, literature and the love of books, etc.

If you have any suggestions for a new name, or, if you have come across a video or blog post about future libraries or libraries2.0, please leave a comment.


·    Clear understanding of expectations of boys – must teach these
·    What is happening in other spaces / libraries around the state and country?
·    St Josephs in Sydney have a good program – Colin to explore and report back

·    What should we call this space?
·    The name will reflect how the boys view and use the space
·    Should it still be called a library?

·    The librarian needs to be a ‘coach’ with ICT, library skills and literature
·    Teaching teams and the use of the resource room – planning and sharing has become a focus of the School – this space, and the library staff, must support this
·    Can staff check out their own books and resources?

Skills – Resource based learning skills, Library skills, teaching these
·    We must teach the skills associated with research
·    Resource based learning is essential
·    What are the skills needed for this and how does the library / library staff help teach these
·    There is a strong emphasis on ‘story telling’ and ‘literacy’ within the classroom program
·    Should we change the emphasis of the library to reflect a more balance approach with ‘literature’ and ‘skills’ sharing equal weight?
·    There is a strong emphasis on reading and the love of books – in classrooms
·    The strong classroom program should mean we do not loose the love of reading and books – thus there may be room for change of focus in this new space
·    Embracing ‘literature’
·    Changing face of resources must be addressed – text, electronic, web etc

·    Develop a ‘drop in’ approach to the use of the library – small groups / class groups / individual students (especially for older year levels)
·    The new space allows for two / three distinct teaching groups
·    What are the staffing implications of this?
·    The library should be a resource point
·    We should be able to come to the Library and access the resources available
·    How will the space be used after school? – homework, small groups, research – is there a conflict with OSHC?
·    How can we keep the boys interacting in the mornings?
·    Look at year levels having display and resources available in the library

·    The current catalogue system does not allow for easy access and use
·    Can we develop an on line booking system for staff to use any of the new spaces – class / specialist teachers would take students if librarian is teaching
·    With the new ICT facilities in the library this must be a focus of how we use the library – more computers, IWB, Web 2.0, lap tops
·    Would like to be able to access online services for the library from ‘outside’ the library – classrooms, home
·    Greater flexibility between the library space and the ICT space – closer links
·    Need to marry the old ideas about a library with the new ideas and how 2010 boys see a library

This attachment is a copy of the hand out Colin provided for the group. It makes interesting reading and promoted in me some very interesting thoughts. If we look at the points for change and then use these to question what we can do or should do in this new space it does make us ‘think outside the square’

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