I am delighted to share this letter from Dr. David Loertscher and Carol Koechlin declaring April 2015 to May 2016 the Year of the Learning Commons. There are many exciting things happening in Canada’s school libraries, and I encourage you to participate!
We are so encouraged by the transitions many school libraries are making to a learning commons approach. We hear about many schools and districts in Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand and England rethinking and re-imagining the role of the school library to a future’s oriented learning environment. At the same time we know of many regressive stories which cause us pause this year and reflect on how far we have come with this movement and what needs to happen next to ensure that all students everywhere have the benefits of learning supports and programs inherent in the learning commons vision.
Consequently we are declaring The Year of the Learning Commons to focus on the accomplishments to date but more importantly to hand over the next chapter of transitions to you! We need you to spread the word, celebrate successes, advocate for program, educate decision makers, and together build momentum in our schools to reinvest in libraries and computer labs as vibrant learning commons. The April issue of Teaching Librarian http://www.teacherlibrarian.com/ will announce The Year of the Learning Commons and support this project.
We have also built a site https://sites.google.com/site/yearofthelearningcommons/home and we urge you to get involved. Register by completing the Google form. Check out what others are doing on the spreadsheet. Use the resources on the site to help others build knowledge and understanding. Contribute your own ideas to the site.
Here are a few ways you can contribute to the Year of the Learning Commons and the future:
- Download, print and display the Year of the Learning Commons poster.
- Use the Year of the Learning Commons icons on your webpage and in communications.
- Write an article, blog, tweet #yearlc, etc. about the features of your learning commons and promote a conversation.
- Put up a tour of your learning commons on YouTube.
- Present at a local, state, provincial or national conference.
- Have your students create presentations for local, state, provincial and national audiences.
- Attend various events that will be announced on the site.
- Invite members of your community to tour your learning commons and see what a major difference it has made in your school; if you are still in the planning stage, invite their participation in the conversion.
- Let us know what you are doing so we can help you tell the world!
Please share this email message with colleagues and through you own professional networks. We are hoping to build a supportive learning community to further the development of school library learning commons nationally and internationally.
Carol Koechlin and David Loertscher