Library 2.0:  A Journey of Metamorphosis

April 19, 2011 (0 Comments)

Posted by: ASLC

This is an article from the Middle School Journal written by Calgary Regional Consortium technology consultant Brenda Dyck.

From: Middle Ground Magazine: The Magazine of Middle Level Education
Published by the National Middle School Association, April 2011

Library 2.0: A Journey of Metamorphosis
By Brenda A. Dyck

“If you think our future will require better schools, you’re wrong. The future of education calls for entirely new kinds of learning environments.” ~ 2002 Forecast

During the past few months, I have been spending time navigating through the Knowledgework’s 2020 Forecast document (, an inventory of trends and signals of upcoming change within the teaching profession.

2020 Forecast outlines key changes that will shape the landscape of learning over the next decade:
Drivers of Change are major forces of transformation that will shape efforts to reconstruct learning.
Trends are “distinct directions of change that point to new concepts or new patterns of behavior that will shape the future of learning.”
Signals are examples or early indicators of the changes described by the trends and the drivers of change.
Learning agents suggest new roles and functions that might emerge in future learning environments.

Knowledgework’s forward thinking provides a tool for thinking about, preparing for, and designing the future. It outlines key forces of change that will shape the landscape of learning over the next decade. It’s easy to write some of these predictions off as pie in sky hopefulness--- until you look back at the 2016 Forecast and see that a number of the predictions have already started to take place in educational institutions.

One of the places this shift is evident is in the school library. The concept of the Information Commons--- a place for students to gather and work with technology--- has been with schools for almost ten years, but ongoing modifications to the concept have transformed the Information Commons into what is being referred to as Commons 2.0, a space that fosters student learning in new and creative ways.

Bryan Sinclair, associate University Librarian at the University of North Carolina, suggests in his Educase Quarterly article,”Commons 2.0: Library Spaces Designed for Collaborative Learning” that these adaptations will morph into fresh environmental formats that will support social learning and promote collaborative work; employ flexible design and the use of wireless technology; and emerge into a delightful space that encourages creativity, discovery and inspiration for the students who spend time there.

How are traditional libraries transitioning traditional school libraries into the Learning Commons--- spaces suitable for the unique learning needs of digital learners? The web sites here illustrate how the Learning Commons is more than a future trend. It’s clearly a here and now space that incorporates physical and virtual areas for students and staff to read, conduct research, work creatively, and share their new knowledge.

From Libraries to Learning Commons

By the Time the Rats Start Packing, It’s Too Late
Librarian Robin Cicchetti offers sound advice for keeping the school library central and indispensible.

Dangerously Irrelevant Libraries
This blog post by Doug Johnson introduces 10 hard but necessary questions about books, librarians, and schools.

Flip This Library: School Libraries Needs a Revolution
David Loertscher, Carol Koechlin, and Sandi Zwaan, the authors of The New Learning Commons: Where Learners Win! Provide a vivid description of what a flip from a traditional library to a Learning Commons would be like.

Do School Libraries Need to Have Books?
Explore what is being gained and lost in the shift towards digital reading.

Redesigning Libraries

Kindle in the Library
Want to use the Kindle or other e-readers to support teaching and learning in your classroom? This site provides information and tools to help you along the way.

The Virtual Learning Commons
Not sure what a virtual Learning Commons might look like in your school? This wiki provides many examples.

Springfield Township Virtual Library
This interactive high school virtual library provides a model for middle school teacher librarians to follow.

14 Ways K-12 Librarians Can Teach Social Media
Librarian, Joyce Valena describes how social media can be used to engage digital learners.

Herricks Virtual Library Media Center
Inspired by David Loertscher’s Virtual Learning Commons presentation at SIGMedia, three New York State teachers created a website that will serve three different schools and provides students with access to the Learning Commons 24/7. Learn more.

Thinkering Spaces
Funded by a grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative, Thinkering Spaces introduces readers to “a third place in libraries that engages kids in hands-on, physical/virtual interplay and collaboration”.

When I Become a Teacher Librarian
Inspired by Marco Torres' 2001 "Teacher Movie”, this video profiles librarians who think differently.

Looking Foreword

Never before has it been so important to stay up-to-date with trends that will shape the Learning Commons of the future. Teacher librarians can use the 2020 Forecast to help them prepare teachers and students for the “key forces of change that will shape the landscape of learning over the next decade”.


Brenda A. Dyck is a technology consultant/coordinator at the Calgary Regional Consortium and an instructor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. Email:



Free database trials for the month of April

April 10, 2011 (0 Comments)

Posted by: ASLC

Please see the following link that is promoting GALE databases for free for one month in recognition of Library Month in the US.
It is not Library month here, but Canadian schools also have access.

The databases you might like to try most are GREENR and GLOBAL ISSUES IN CONTEXT. These work well for SS, CTS, and Science. Remember this is free for one month only and ORC cannot purchase them at this time, but well worth taking advantage of the free access if you can.

Diane GallowaySolowan


Making It Work! 2017 ASLC Conference April 8th

Join ASLC and Diana Rendina, Renovated Learning and Walking Together in exploring the excitement and potential of Makerspaces to impact student learning and learn how literature can help you create an Inclusive Learning Commons!

Location: Strathcona High School 10450 72 Avenue NW Edmonton, AB   T6E0Z6

Join Our Council

Free Membership for all ATA Members

click here to join online or

click here to download the membership form