School libraries – their design and use

Thanks to a tweet by Ruth Buchanan about a post on her Skerricks  blog I found this video. It can be found here. (You are supposed to be able to embed it into a WordPress blog but it didn’t work for me so I have put in some screen grabs but they don’t really do the video justice.)

The video aims to contribute to the design and development of visually stunning, fit-for-purpose libraries that support 21st century learning in extended school settings. It shows the contribution an effective library can make to the educational, creative, emotional & reading development of children and young people, and the aspects of design that can enable this.

This 28 minute (UK)  video was funded by CILIP School Libraries Group and MLA (Museums Libraries and Archives Council), the DVD features Stephen Heppell, Les Watson (Education Adviser), students, teachers and managers from a diverse group of schools and settings. Each person has a unique view of school libraries but all are convinced of the important role for the school library and teacher librarians to support learning. They articulate the view that teacher librarians and good school libraries are very important for developing student learning and argue their case very convincingly. Stephen Heppell – “libraries are places that can inspire thinking and encourage collaboration” A Queensland example is also mentioned!

The discussion centres on 21st century learning and the skills that will be needed and how libraries (and teacher librarians) can make a positive contribution to learning. The “how” and “what” will be needed as we progress further into this century. The video has many examples library spaces and possibilities. It examines how students and other library users find these and looks at what they want as well as how school library staff (and teachers) find meet these requirements, the architects of new library spaces must be encouraged to throw out their old, historical ideas and look at the use of libraries now and in the future. There are some great quotes, one that I like in particular is “we must be careful and make sue that we do not disable the future.”  

The video is very positive. As I have been thinking about the SLAV submission to the National Parliamentary Inquiry into school libraries and teacher-librarians in Australian school, so many of the things mentioned in the video are relevant and supportive of what we are trying to do.

This video is worth watching and listening to for its positive views on the importance of school library spaces and services to learning, now and into the future.

A last quote – Learning is about lighting sparks rather than filling vessels

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