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Creating Alternative School Library Environments

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Instructor Overview

Introduction to the Course

This module will introduce students to the overall goals of the course, contextualizing the creation of alternative library spaces within two key movements currently seeking to transform library spaces:  Learning Commons and MakerSpaces. Students will be asked to begin reflecting on the complex factors which are involved in successful planning and implementiation of transformative solutions in their school library settings.

Two suggestions for a final project for the course are: 


Have each student document where they believe their library is in its evolution of change, explain how its current environment is supporting inquiry for students in their school today.  Then using tools from the course develop a plan for obtaining the information needed to project into the future what their school library and school could be in the next 10 years.   Develop a persuasive argument to present to school administrators why resources should be allocated to initiate the plan.  How could the plan improve student learning, enrich instruction and support the mission of the school?   How would the physical space and your role within it change?

Alternative Project

Your district is launching a new STEM Charter Middle School in the next year.  Initially there is no plan for a library in the Charter School; it will be a one-to-one environment, large studio style learning environments, extensive access to technology, and planners have decided a library is too“traditional” and unnecessary in the new building.   Consider the educational model, the curriculum, the diversity of instructors and students and why the district has approved this concept for new construction.  You believe strongly that the new school needs the inquiry based skills a librarian can provide and ask for the opportunity to present an alternative library concept to the board.  The school board gives you six months to research, compile data, and you have access to the original concept team of educators and the school design team as you plan.   Prepare your presentation for the board.