Last year, (as Director of e-learning at Epsom Girls Grammar School on behalf of the school) I responded to the Parliamentary Select Committee's 'Inquiry into the 21st Century Learning Environments and Digital Literacy' with a submission that touched on a number of areas. One area that has really stuck with me is the point raised about how important the school library is, and will remain to be, within our 21st century learning environments. See the excerpts below:
From the written submission:
The traditional school library building would be a good place to start in the re-visioning process - a secondary school library presents the perfect environment for a shared learning environment that could be redeveloped to provide resources (books and Digital) ICT, media and production tools and spaces.
and from the oral submission:
We need to see libraries as a strategic place to start this shift for all schools by ensuring that schools get the advice, guidance and funding they need to transform traditional libraries into multi-media multi-purpose learning commons and information centres. This would be a pragmatic way of ensuring all NZ students were able to access digital resources within a “21st Century Learning Environment” and therefore able to develop their digital competencies with an educational context.
Basically, school libraries are important, and in this digital age, they are only becoming more important. School libraries have the potential to represent a kind of beacon of 21st century pedagogy and competency development. Libraries and librarians are in essence all about information (and digital) literacy and the curation of information - a skill that has never been more important as our learners navigate their way their way through a sea of paper and digital resources. As a physical environment they often represent a kind of curriculum version of Switzerland, a subject neutral territory, an open learning space, a space that provides the tools and guidance to support genuine student-led learning and inquiry.
Also, it's the home of books. You can keep your Kindle (for now) - I still love books.
So, this leads to the actual point of today's blog post. Today we (the Senior Leadership Team) ferried (and I mean, literally ferried via the new Hobsonville-City ferry route) to the National Library to meet with the lovely Lisa Oldham to discuss some of our ideas...and more importantly, to shamelessly poach hers. Lisa is the Development Specialist for School Library Futures for the National Library...so I an guessing we are entitled to do so. Talking with Lisa was great, reaffirming our as yet fetal vision for the HPSS library and giving us much food for thought. I will be diving head long into some of her recommended reading before we meet again next week. Check out her blog and her recommended reading below. Also please feel free to pass on your recommendations as well!
Click here to view Lisa's EdTalk
● Joyce Valenza
● Buffy Hamilton (kindle/ebooks)
● Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano (Langwitches)
● Ross Todd
● David Loertscher
● Lyn Hay
● Judy O'Connell