Creating Alternative School Library Environments

Introduction to the Course

In this course we will look at ways to change the narrative on school libraries from questioning the need for them or how to renovate the industrial era models of a single, shared resource environment to a learner-centered model.  We will work on how to move beyond traditional concepts, personal biases and even past current Learning Commons and Maker Spaces to creating learning environments where resources are ubiquitously accessible to students in virtual and physical formats.

We will look at the enormous complexity of this model in a K-12 school and why not exploring unique, alternative concepts may be hastening the elimination of school librarians.

K-12 school libraries are unique entities.  They are unique because school library users lack base knowledge.  It is that simple.  The users have limited life and learning experiences, they are exploring inquiry based learning skills and their reading skills literally run a gambit from nothing to highly proficient.   Over the course of 13 years they accumulate base knowledge.  School libraries must be planned as multi-tier, multi-functioning units based on the user’s needs.   And this is why planning is so complex; the user's needs are consistently evolving and thus complex.