As we work to build twenty-first learning skills...collaboration, creation and communication we need to look at how we can support this by creating an environment that meets that need. The Learning Commons concept takes libraries that one step further to support digital students and learning.
What is a Learning Commons?
Keechlin, Rosenfeld and Loerttscher (2012) define it as “a learning “space” that is both physical and virtual – a place to experiment, practice, celebrate, learn, work and play (http://aslc.ca/blog).
How is it different from the traditional school library?
Traditional school libraries are seen as quiet places full of printed books, people reading and librarians ‘shushing’. A Learning Commons takes school libraries into the 21st century. Yes, we still have printed text, and there are still people reading, and there is still a librarian, however the Learning Commons has so much more! There is a hum of activity with students talking, learning, searching for information on a variety of devices, focusing on content creation and synthesizing of information. The Learning Commons becomes the hub and the heart of the school; a place for teachers and teacher-librarians to collaborate to build inquiry learning and critical thinking skills in students; a place for technology integration and experimentation; a place that is ‘owned’ by students and staff alike.