Saturday, March 26, 2016

Libraries - the first place of personalisation

The day before the 2016 CEESA conference in Istanbul there was a job-a-like for librarians. Guest speaker for our group was Katie Day, teacher librarian at United World College, Singapore and author of the blog The Librarian Edge. Her presentation is available below - recorded using photo booth and then published to YouTube.

The theme for the conference was personalised learning. It seems to me that libraries have traditionally been the place for that. Throughout the ages people have been able to go to  libraries and pursue their interests in reading and research.

School libraries can offer their communities so much as they seek to develop personalised learning for their students. Our collections have moved beyond the traditional print resource to electronic books, databases and online portals. There are web tools to enable us to curate resources for student learning - libguides, livebinders and Diigo to name only a few tools. As teacher librarians we can teach our colleagues and students how to curate their own resources. 

Katie's presentation went further than these observations by looking at library as place and the need to offer a variety of learning spaces. Students need rooms to meet and collaborate as well as spaces to totally tune out and concentrate on their own. One school principal, Penny Sturtevant, when redesigning the library had a vision that was a bit different from the makerspaces she was seeing. She wanted her library to be a place that was a little less open-ended, a place where students did hands-on work, but as an extension of what was happening their classrooms. Instead of taking her inspiration from the maker movement, Sturtevant was interested in trends she was seeing toward more personalised learning. So the space within the library has to be utilised with personalisation in mind. 

I will be following up on this presentation by reading Deep Work by Cal Newport - how to focus in a distracted world. Also Change by Design  by Tim Brown looking at using the design process to guide change.

Katie challenged us to be people who bring treasure to our students, like a travel guide who brings the traveller to the best parts of the city. 

Thanks for the inspiration Katie. Much fuel for further learning.