In today’s information-rich society, with the Internet at our fingertips, students and teachers no longer need a library for access to information. But that doesn’t mean school libraries have become irrelevant.
On the contrary, it can be argued that school libraries are more important today than ever. They serve as a focal point for helping students and teachers navigate the flood of information available online and distinguish fact from fiction. In many school libraries, teachers and media specialists are teaming up to teach classes together, with the media specialist focusing on the technology and information literacy skills that students need to become effective citizens in the Digital Age.
As learning becomes more participatory, requiring a co-construction of knowledge from many sources, school libraries are transforming from archives of information into “learning commons,” where students come to learn key 21st-century skills and construct new knowledge together.
This new model is changing the design of school library spaces. Printed books are still important, but library spaces are no longer consumed by rows of shelving. For instance, there are more open spaces and common areas that allow students and teachers to get together for creating, sharing, and collaborating.
As school libraries evolve to meet the changing needs of staff and students, K-12 leaders are charged with designing library spaces that can support these emerging needs.
As you seek to transform your own school libraries into dynamic 21st-century learning commons, contact Paragon Furniture for assistance. We will help you through the redesign process and share our insight and resources to inspire you and your new space.