Climbing to Excellence: Defining Characteristics of Successful Learning Commons

Khera, Michelle

Educational Theory and Practice (ET)

Loertscher, David V, & Koechlin, Carol. (2014). Climbing to Excellence: Defining Characteristics of Successful Learning Commons.(FEATURE). Knowledge Quest, 14.

http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/aaslpubsandjournals/knowledgequest/docs/KQ_MarApr14_ClimbingtoExcellence.pdf

This is an interesting article on what a learning commons is and the ever changing definition and idea of what a school library is and should be. I liked the emphasis on the different behaviors that might be seen in a learning commons, such as playing, creating, tinkering, building, making, experimenting, sharing, performing, producing, doing, constructing, connecting, accessing, and self-monitoring. I argue that reading still needs to be emphasized, because I worry that we will get too far away from the reading aspect of libraries, but overall, this is a super useful article relating to educational theory and I plan on taking it to my director in hopes of encouraging a learning commons on our school campus.

A Review of the 2018 AASL Standards

Sasaki, Lori

CA

Loertscher, D.V. (2018). A Review (National School Library Standards — AASL). Teacher Librarian, 45(3), p. 36-48. Retrieved from http://teacherlibrarian.com/2018/02/08/dr-david-v-loertscher-reviews-the-new-aasl-standards/

This is a lengthy and detailed review and analysis of the new AASL 2018 standards. The review points out a few strengths, namely that the standards address inquiry in more detail, and many, many areas of concern. Some areas of concern that stand out include the role of the library in affecting learning in the greater school vision, the lack of a central role for technology, and the absence of free and independent reading. For all of the concerns, there is also a section with recommendations for “thinking ahead.”

This article should be required reading for anyone working in school libraries, whether they have tried to make sense of the new AASL standards or not. Underlying the entire review is the sense of urgency for the profession to demonstrate the indispensability of the role of teacher librarians and school libraries in a time when their existence is being questioned. The recommendations push teacher librarians to think deeply and critically about their role in learning, to imagine what learning can look like, and to create learning commons for 21st century learners.

School Libraries, Librarians and PBL

Chapman, Sherry

ID, CO

Foote, C. (2017). School libraries, librarians, and project-based learning. Internet@Schools, 24(1), 12-13.

http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=120613372&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Summary:

This article exemplifies the teacher librarian’s role in project based learning authentic activities. It discusses how this school utilizes the library and librarian’s knowledge to successfully accomplish large research projects that have meaning and relevance to students.

Evaluation:

This article discusses a very supportive and interactive example of how PBL should be done. I am inspired by the collaboration and extent of the projects these students embark upon. I can only hope that I can achieve this level of collaboration in the two schools for which I am the teacher librarian.

 

 

Allen, M. (2008). Promoting Critical Thinking Skills in Online Information Literacy Instruction Using a Constructivist Approach. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 15(1/2), 21-38. doi:10.1080/10691310802176780. Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=34179935&site=ehost-live&scope=site
This article discusses how the constructivist approach is becoming an increasingly popular way of teaching literacy skills in the library.  In this approach, the teacher works as the facilitator or the guide to learning. This is a trend that increasing in the library. Librarians are learning ways in which they can achieve these goals within their libraries. They are learning ways to make learning in ways that are more online and asynchronous instead of the typical one-shot lecture method.  This way is being embraced more and more and seems to be something that we need to embrace. 

MOREILLON, J. (2016). Making the Classroom-Library Connection. Teacher Librarian, 43(3),  
8-18.  Retrieved from:  http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?
url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=113222008&site=ehost-
live&scope=site
This article discusses how classroom teachers are often unprepared or unknowing of how to collaborate with librarians.  This makes it difficult for teacher-librarians because classroom teachers often feel uncomfortable with collaboration. This article discusses some of the issues that are experienced by classroom teachers and teacher librarians and it also discussed some possible remedies to these issues.  This article explains possible options that can be offered to teachers to help them understand what the teacher librarians can offer their classes.  It includes information on how the librarian can provide workshops to help teachers learn to work in tandem with the librarian.

Changing Roles of School Librarians.

Lo, P. & Chiu, D. K. W. (2015). Enhanced and changing roles of school librarians under the digital age. New Library World, 116(11/12), 696-710. DOI: 10.1108/NLW-05-2015-0037

Lo and Chiu conducted research that explored the changing roles of school librarians under the digital age. Their research methods included qualitative analysis of interviews within three secondary schools that were conducted on three separate occasions. These face-to-face interviews were of importance to this study because it allowed for unexpected responses and discourses to emerge. To clarify answers, the researcher initiated follow up questions to verify immediately their responses against the researchers’ understanding. This study concludes by offering advice for becoming a successful school librarian under the digital age. Findings indicated that interdisciplinary instruction across the school communities was an important aspect of the librarians’ success.