In this new QSLiN Library hangout, Roger Rampersad, principal of Riverdale High School (Lester B. Pearson School Board), talks about the advantages of having a library learning commons as opposed to a traditional library. The film highlights a variety of ways that a school can upgrade the library’s spaces using recycled materials and still have a warm, contemporary, and welcoming decor that students will love.
Some special features of Riverdale’s library learning commons are a smart board, portable stage, iPad surfing bar as well as comfortable, moveable furniture. All these allow for multi-purpose use and collaboration among students that facilitates engaging activities outside the classroom.
What many librarians will find encouraging is Principal Rampersad’s support and advocacy of the pedagogy behind the library learning commons model. He is enthusiastic about the flexibility of the new space that lends itself to a variety of activities, whether it involves an author workshopping a YA novel with English classes or students working together on projects at either the surf bar, or a slam poetry competition. In fact, the board’s Battle of the Books will be hosted in the Riverdale Library Learning Commons on April 14th at 7:00 P.M.
The film offers Principal Rampersad’s advice to other principals looking to transform their traditional school libraries to the learning commons model and his hopes for making the common space a common place for all.