We’re literally on the cusp of some serious overhaul for our school’s library media center and (thankfully) my ideas/voice are included in the conversation. As I continue to craft my Reinventing the Teacher-Librarian multi-touch book, my side project is to help bring the needs of our patrons and community to life in our school library.
My goal is to 1) create “spaces” in our current LRC (library resource center) for multimedia, ideas, and innovation; 2) explore the community as collection development, & 3) add mobility wherever possible.
Our students NEED places to record high quality audio & video for their projects. We also need the amazing digital tools to teach editing and finalizing of multimedia projects. One of the spaces I’d like to create are the multimedia labs that many high schools and junior highs are starting to build in. Glass walls for line of sight, studio lighting, green screen, etc.
The Chicago suburb, Bollingbrook, has features like this built into their recent public library remodel:
Another trend catching on quickly in public libraries is the space to actually create or make something. Many are centered around 3D printing (like Chicago’s Public Library), but I would like to expand on that and build in unique tools for programming and creating. Time is always the key (and something I often lack), but having students using programming tools like MIT’s Scratch, iPad apps like Codea, etc. to create in math class or as an after school club.
Unique Items to Checkout
I don’t know about you, but kids can get eBooks, games, audiobooks, and movies pretty much anywhere and for a lot less hassle than the library. With publishing companies still messing around with number of checkouts, number of downloads per device, and the horrible pillaging companies like OverDrive “offer”, I’d much rather NOT focus on these resources (see ILEAD USA group’s recent video demonstrating this plight of the patron).
“What tools would our students like to use, but wouldn’t purchase?”
[Caution: Mr. Neilburger uses rather colorful language to drive home point.]
With Eli Neilburger’s brilliant explanation in mind, I’m going to start investing in creative STEM tools to get students invested in tinkering and inventing. Products like Makey Makey or Sphero are things most of them would not typically purchase on their own unless they actually had some practical experience. I liken it to a home improvement project. When I need to borrow a power washer to clean my deck, I don’t go out and purchase one. I borrow it from Ace Hardware or Home Depot. What are some tools our students would like to use but wouldn’t necessarily go out and pick one up?
Community is Our Collection
Once we do this by bring in experts from our community to teach and share, we need to promote. I think about all the students who stop by weekly and share some of the amazing things they’re doing. We need to be promoting this work and I’m going to start this fall with our new web page format.
The concept of community as collection is expertly explained by R. David Lankes in his recent address at the March ILEAD U session:
The community is our new collection and we need to promote their expertise & learning!
There’s LOTS to think about here, but I needed to get it out and I thought my blog would be a good place to start. Please share your thoughts, reflections, and ides/examples from your end!