Week 11, of Chose My Own Adventure, lead me to check out the Learning Everywhere section. I was very pleased with some of the ideas presented in this module. In fact, Vangelova’s article blew me away with new library offerings I had not previously considered. By flipping the quiet library model on its head, Ackroyd was able to build an exciting and energizing place of learning. She reflected on the decision to rebrand the library by pointing out that, “people no longer have to come to the library to get information, so the library has to get people coming in for different reasons” (Vangelova , 2014). She has embraced this idea of how a library needs to evolve to meet the new and ever-changing needs of her student patrons. Lauersen echoes this sentiment in his article by saying, “learning is many things, but what makes the library for a unique institution in this context is in the safeguarding of every citizen’ access to knowledge and learning linked to skills, dissemination and credibility” (2020).
By weeding out books, Ackroyd was able to transform the library space in impressive ways. Not only that but the ripples of her choices allowed teachers to use their full potential of creativity in the library space. She spoke highly about the creativity of her school’s teachers and taking advantage of being able to provide a space in which to flex their creativity muscles. Her changes also allowed students to find an inspiration and learn by doing. In her library, stuffy and unfriendly behaviors were dismissed and this opened things up to allow students to use their phones in the library. It also made building relationships a top priority.
I look at the Vangelova article and wonder about how we can foster lifelong learning in ways that do not center around books. It is, again, an opportunity to make people the focus of the library. It is important to remember that people are loud and messy; therefore, there will be times when the library is loud and messy. Conversely, there are still opportunities to have quieter times for students looking for a more peaceful environment. As with the Idea Box instillation in the Oak Park library, “surprise and delight” should be infused in everyone’s library experience (Greenwalt, 2013). In a nutshell, the value of learning in libraries should only bested by the value of the people filling the room.
Greenwalt, R. T., (2013). Embracing the long game. Public Libraries Online. http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2013/02/embracing/
Lauersen, C., (2020). Learning, culture, community and diversity: new library strategy for Roskilde libraries 2020-., The Library Lab. https://christianlauersen.net/2020/06/23/learning-culture-community-and-diversity-new-library-strategy-for-roskilde-libraries-2020/
Vangelova, L., (2014). What does the next-generation school library look like?. KQED. https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/36326/what-does-the-next-generation-school-library-look-like