Learning Spaces

T4L Physical & Virtual SpacesThe physical and virtual spaces of the school library should be a hub for the collaborative learning taking place across the school: the hub of the learning commons.

The Ontario Ministry of Education’s discussion paper, Towards Defining 21st Century Competencies for Ontario (Winter 2016) includes the suggestion to reconfigure the library as a hub of learning. It highlights the possibilities for social, collaborative learning and individual learning, and the library’s role connecting to the outside world through technology. It draws attention to the learning commons philosophy and approach, including the role of the library plays in inspiring creativity and collaboration.

The Physical and Virtual Library Learning Commons

The library learning commons exists in both the physical and virtual spaces. These spaces should connect the school community to all manner of resources, provide opportunities for collaboration and creativity, and should inspire learning through effective design. The physical and virtual spaces of the library should be as seamlessly integrated as possible.

One of the five overarching standards presented in Leading Learning (CLA, 2014) is about designing learning environments to support participatory learning. The themes from this standard guide schools in realizing the full potential of the library’s physical and virtual spaces.

LL Learning Environments

Leading Learning. CLA, 2014


Annual Institute of the Library as Place, July 2013
Teen Territories: Creating Their Special Places in Libraries
With Carol Koechlin and Sofia di Sabatino

TMC 2012: School Library Websites: The Bricks and Mortar of the Virtual Library Space

Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2012
Construction Zones for Learning
Virtual Knowledge Building
With Carol Koechlin


Transforming Library Spaces
School Libraries in Canada Volume 31, Issue 3 (2013)

virtuallearningcDistrict and State/Provincial VLCs, a Chapter 13 in The Virtual Learning Commons, by Loertscher, Koechlin and Rosenfeld, (LMC Source, 2012). Additional contributions to Chapter 7, Start with the Information Center.

School Library Websites: The Bricks and Mortar of the Virtual Library Space. Treasure Mountain Canada 2012.

The Virtual Library: Have We Put the Cart Before the Horse? School Libraries in Canada Volume 29 Issue 2 (2011)

The Virtual Library as a Learning Hub. School Libraries in Canada Volume 27 Issue 3 (2009).

The School Library Learning Commons: Are We “Virtually” There? School Libraries in Canada Volume 27 Issue 2 (2009).