How is technology changing today’s school libraries? was the tagline that caught my attention today. In the first of a three-part series on this topic, THE Journal highlighted one school’s library designed around an iCommons concept.
The iCommons serves as a center for learning and academic life. It has a relaxed atmosphere and includes plenty of space for student collaboration and work. It includes smaller work rooms for students and areas with comfortable couches for interaction and discussion. “It is not a ‘sushing’ library” but, rather, a workspace.
The digital library collection includes access to various databases and online full-text books by using sites such as Questia and Google Books. These sites allow students to access materials 24/7, create their own “virtual bookshelves”, and even mark or highlight information as needed. Since it is all digital, there is never the problem of a resource being checked out and unavailable for student use.
The article highlighted at least two important needs that must be addressed when considering this concept:
1. Necessary media and information literacy training to help students access and evaluate the resources and relevent information in their searches.
2. The importance of educating parents regarding the purpose and use of a library organized around this concept.