The Future School Library: What will it look it? And how will we get there?
This was the question put to us at the cafe-style seminar. It's a difficult question to answer. The future is unknowable. Yet all the groups on the SLAMIT course came up with answers for this.
These were my thoughts:
The library will be 24/7. It will be open virtually when the physical doors are shut.
Developments will be pupil driven. How do students want to use the space? What resources do they want to see? What activities?
The library will use data to prove its impact upon student progress.
After we discussed our own individual ideas, we had to share them with our group. The next step was to narrow the future library down to the three most important points:
These were what my group came up with:
- Citizenship - the library's role is and will continue to be shaping pupils' as citizens in the physical world as well as the digital role. We must help them discover who they are, what they aspire to be and what they believe about the world.
- Leading Learning - the library's role is to innovate teaching and learning. To be a pedagogical centre which embraces new technologies, learning styles and teaching methods. It's a place to take risks and try new things.
- Social Equaliser - the library's role to provide an equality of opportunity for pupils. A place where the economic and social playing field is levelled. Every student has equal access to resources and knowledgeable staff which will enrich their social, cultural, moral and intellectual well-being.
When I reflect on this, I think the library of the future is almost the one we have now. Technologies change but the aims stay the same. The library's role is to equip pupils for the future.
In my own role, I need to stay ahead of new teaching and learning developments. I need to keep up to date using online sources - Twitter, blogs, newspaper articles, websites, journal articles.
The next step must be to build a framework in my school to develop guided inquiry. 21st century learners must be able to navigate a world full of information overload, sort the information and then transform it for their own deeper learning.
This is how I see the future of the school library.
Do you have anything to add to the discussion?
What other steps do we need to take to meet the aims above?