A Day in the Life -learning commons resources, services and joy

KSS Today was another crazy and productive day at KSS Library. Even when our bookings are at half capacity today, we were smoking busy engaging students, supporting student inquiry and many other assorted tasks frequently observed in our school library. The new hip title of learning commons certainly applies. Although this activity doesn’t come without trials and the need for balancing parton interests, we find ways to deliver value added service. What do we mean?

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Value added means to us that simply finding a book or web service that has the appropriate educational content is only part of the goal. We strive to help integrate these resources into meaningful personalized learning. We coach our students ( and teachers ) through discussions to read the content and probe personal inquiry. What are your tasks? Goals? What information or skill is needed? Sometimes it is simply providing materials and a place to construct a huge display board. Other times it requires deeper questioning into the concepts. This style of service takes time and personal attention. Thankfully our Library is staffed and supported by admin and faculty at a level that provides the opportunity to try- often we succeed. Sometimes our learning commons is an access point to start research or reading. Other times it requires acts of discipline to rain in teaming social noise of the teens in order to provide a common quieter place of reflection. As a rule, we fail in creating a very quiet place but our attempts to serve 1800 teens and the larger school community does produce noise. Thankfully the sound of learning is often the result. KSS students engage in some pretty amazing ways and we are witness to some fascinating activity. The teachers and students of KSS deserve value added service from their teacher-librarians but it takes a village to make it all work in a crowded commons area. The sage on the stage is seldom found here.

Here is just a small but interesting highlights.

  • administrator needs help with integrating video into their powerpoint
  • retired teacher visits to get a document converted and prepped for a print shop gift
  • volleyball director visits to get photos assembled for an BC Championships banquet
  • student needs to solve audio setup for a presentation in the gym
  • Socials class needs instruction on how to build an 1885 newspaper
  • student needs to learn how to collect, scan and assemble digital documents for his Science class
  • Psych students want help in finding current content on disorders not in the DSM IV
  • student needs assistance to digitize diplomas for his Transitions 12 presentation
  • teacher needs to solve how to acquire and install new software on his new laptop
  • student athlete travelling to Vancouver needs to get a video for her Monday morning exam

You can see from the list why we are very busy hub of the school. I’ll elaborate on the last item because it showcases the value of investing in current technologies like ebooks and iPads. A senior needs to watch a movie of 12 Angry Men to augment her novel study exam on Monday. The library’s DVD copies are out on loan. The catch? She is travelling tomorrow morning by bus to a BC Girls Volleyball Championship. So why a movie you ask? She wants to watch the film on the bus and take notes, etc. Motivated? Yes. Student athlete? Yes. What is a teacher-librarian to do? Call Rogers and rent the movie? Nope. No store in town has one. Enter iPad and iTunes. Buy and download Makovetsky’s 2007 and just in case, rent Sidney Lumet’s 1957 with Henry Fonda. Add the ebook play from iTunes-U and the novel from Amazon. Sync a Library iPad and voila… a travelling library for our just too tall, too adorable middle blocker Amanda. You make us proud to serve you honey! Go Owls!

1 Comment

Filed under Databases, Education, Helpful Material, Inquiry Resources, MultiMedia, Periodicals, Privacy and Safety, School Library

One response to “A Day in the Life -learning commons resources, services and joy

  1. Judith

    Terrific!

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