LBPSB Library Resources

A school librarian's toolbox


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School Library Culture or Teen Culture?

I wrote last spring about having been displaced from my post of many years (http://lbpsblib.org/?s=twenty+days).  After what seemed like the longest summer on record, numerous changes in decision-making led to several posts.  Now, I have the incredible good fortune to return to “my” school, “my” students, “my” library.  That means that I may evaluate our transformation towards a 21st century high-school library that began last year.

PCHS1Renovations have been completed.  New technology has been installed.  MakerSpace kits have been assembled.  Students no longer have to wait outside our doors in anticipation.

Plans are underway to celebrate with a “grand opening.”  It’s time to find out if the results meet the expectations of students and staff.  An informal survey was carried out to guide us through the transformation.  They asked for café seating, fresh colours and easily re-configurable furniture.  They asked for more sofas and more technology.  They wanted the opportunity to “do” more – not just to read more.PCHS2

Judging by the numbers of teenagers using the space on their own time and the increased number of class bookings, it appears that we have a winner!

Is that because of our particular school’s culture?  We are lucky to have students from many cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.  Is it because our school offers diverse academic programs to suit our students’ needs?  Many schools fit that description.  Or is it simply that we value getting to know our community and include them in our planning?  It’s important to learn what distinguishes one community from another.  It’s equally important to learn what we have in common to encourage that sense of community.

21st century libraries belong with 21st century learning.  Today’s cellphone-carrying, social-media-obsessed, tech-savvy teens have much in common with one another.  They look forward to the chance to share their 21st century ideas.  Let’s remember to include them in the planning.

Submitted by C.-A. Case, Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School

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School Library Renovations and Innovations: St. Anthony School

photo 4

photo 3Our librarian (library technician) at St. Anthony School, Suzanne Halton-Thom, has been very busy reorganizing and upgrading the collection of books in the library while construction crews are coming and going.  A new library/computer centre is being created over the next few months.  Principal, Joanne Malowany, has been doing a lot of research and is spearheading this project.  The students at this school are fortunate to have such a supportive principal who wants to maximize the multitude of benefits that a great library carries in the school.

The new centre will be  connected to the computer lab to become a new and exciting space.  In addition to a collection of wonderful books it will feature upgraded computers, iPads, Chromebooks, creative games, comfy seating and Kobo Readers.

photo 2What will it be called?  That is the question.  It will be a learning centre, maker-space, research and information centre and reading nook all rolled in one!  Any suggestions?

A new Smartboard has been installed.  The wall between the two rooms was removed last week.  New flooring, new paint colours for the walls and some new furnishings are in the works.  Mrs. Thom is very excited about this project and is busy planning different activities for the students when they will have their weekly visits next fall.

photo 1In the meantime, the books and computers are being moved right to left and back again as the work crews come and go.   The current set up is temporary, but in the interim, the students have had very little time away from library.  Things are happening and changing every week.  Stay tuned!

Submitted by:  Suzanne H-T from St. Anthony School