A District Superintendent Blogs about the LLC as a Space of Discovery
Students at West Bay Elementary School, Courtesy of Chris Kennedy, used with permission
Chris Kennedy is the Superintendent of Schools / CEO with the West Vancouver School District (West Vancouver, BC). I like the title of his blog, The Culture of Yes. When you study improvisation in theatre, you learn that blocking off ideas ends the improv very quickly. I think it works the same way with learning. In The Learning Commons Mindset, Kennedy shares a quote that the library learning commons is not just a place to get stuff; it’s a place to do stuff. That means saying yes to a new concept of what a school library can do as a learning commons, and that is to make more means of learning available to students, whether it’s through books, digital technology, or a variety of makerspaces.
Students Working before School. Courtesy of Chris Kennedy, used with permission
What I like about this post is the recognition that a learning commons is more about mindset than materials: “At the recently held Ontario Library Conference, I made the argument that we can get hung-up on the money when it comes to learning commons spaces. But it is first about mindsets – we need to embrace new ways of learning and find ways for our space to reflect these changes and be the gathering places for our all our learners. The thinking around the learning commons is symbolizing the shifts we are seeing with learning throughout our schools.”
It’s always exciting to find an administrator who gets where school libraries are going and isn’t limited by a vision of what it always has been. This is definitely one for that advocacy file!
Ellen Goldfinch is a school librarian consultant and freelance writer living in Baldwin’s Mills, Quebec. She was Head Librarian at Bishop’s College School for 18 years, and school board librarian for the Eastern Townships School Board for two years. Her articles have appeared in Library Media Connection and The Book Report.