Recently I had the opportunity to both attend and take part in the 2nd International LAMS conference with my own presentation on School libraries for 21st century learning.
What I found particularly exciting was the opportunity to learn something about the design considerations for planning new libraries, the innovations in furniture and fittings, the re-conceptualization of learning priorities, the understanding of learning needs, and much more.
Thanks to the presentation by Maxine Brodie, Maquarie University Librarian, I have a number of very useful leads to add to my personal knowledge-base about learning and libraries in 21C.
Two of particular interest are:
- Scott Bennett from North America and the Library Space Planning site.
- Joint Information Systems Council (JISC) from the United Kingdom and their Planning and Designing Technology-Rich Learning Spaces
A wealth of information, case studies, research, photo evidence etc is available at each site. Even just trawling the JISC Flickr photos provides inspiration, before getting into more detail!
Some key questions were offered for our consideration – from Scott Bennet – which can equally be applied to school libraries as to tertiary settings since we all understand that:
Space designs that acknowledge the social dimension of . . . learning behaviors and that enable students to manage socializing in ways that are positive for learning are likely to encourage more time on task and more productive studying, and thereby yield a better return on the investment in physical learning spaces.
What is it about the learning that will happen in this space that compels us to build a bricks and mortar learning space rather than rely on a virtual one?
How might this space be designed to encourage students to spend more time studying and studying more productively?
For what position on the spectrum from isolated study to collaborative study should this learning space be designed?
How will claims to authority over knowledge be managed by the design of this space? What will this space affirm about the nature of knowledge?
Should this space be designed to encourage student/teacher exchanges outside the classroom?
How might this space enrich educational experiences?
There are many insights to these questions to be learned from the two resources, as well as from collaborative discussions about these issues amongst us all.
The key for me is the Planning Context – this context will drive the creation of new 21C Library/Resource centres.
Our facilities will
…….need to move from being collection-centred to being learner-centred
……in order to support research, learning and personal development in a new networked environment.
Bennett, S. (2007) ‘First questions for designing higher education learning spaces’ Journal of Academic Librarianship (33)1, pp. 14-26.
Photos: JISC InfoNet’s photostream