Library dreaming…

My first week back in our LRC was both a delight and very busy!  I hit the ground running seeing all of the Year 1-6 classes where we caught up on news, mine and theirs and managed to fit in some borrowing! I loved hearing about new family members both human and pets; sporting achievements; family holidays; new homes; broken limbs and various stories that 45 minutes allowed. In return I shared my Gap Year in 2014 with many classes sitting with bated breath as I described climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  We also had a great discussion about our LRC having its own distinct ‘library smell’!

I knew there would be some adjusting on my return, but my “attitude” had its first challenge when  I read my timetable and discovered not only was I teaching my regular 21 library classes BUT also teaching ICT for the three Year 6 classes.  I was most upset I had not been part of the discussion and seriously wondered how I could take on another 3 classes and still manage the library with even less time…I guess I will know by the end of Term One.

Over the past twelve months I have been reading and following closely the Canadian Library Association who are transforming their libraries into a “Learning Commons”.  

I dream of our library being a hub of learning both physical and virtual in our school, where I am not tied to a fixed timetable; I collaboratively plan and teach with other teachers; we utilise a range of technology and books in our flexible space and both myself and the library are integral parts of a vibrant learning community. I know becoming a Learning Commons is a long way off and would mean a huge culture change at our school beginning with the teacher librarian not being used to provide release time for classroom teachers…sadly, I know this will probably never happen.

Over the last few days I’ve done a little “attitude adjustment” and I’m trying to focus on the positive, that teaching ICT with our Year 6 classes is an opportunity to create a mini ‘Learning Commons’.  Last year the person teaching ICT took the classes and some teachers used it as their planning time.  Our principal wants  ICT to be taught more collaboratively this year.  I was hoping to have our Year 6 library and ICT lessons back to back but that wasn’t to be (I might ask again in Term 2!).  We are going to focus on the Year 6 Inquiry unit and I hope teaching together will enable students to move between the LRC and the Computer Lab next door and it will be an opportunity to show the benefits of collaborating and teaching with your teacher librarian. It’s only 45 minutes once a week, but it’s a start…

Mind you, don’t think books and reading are lost in all of my library dreaming as they are at the very heart of all I do and a tweet this week from a friend, fellow book lover and librarian was a wonderful reminder…

A library can be a Learning Commons but it must also remain ‘the never fenced country’ of imaginations…