As of January 2010, Room 401 in Middle School 80x will be the newly designated Library Commons Room 401. As a library media specialist, I continually strive to support authentic inquiry, social learning, and promote collaborative work.
The Library Commons Room 401 will be a space that encourages creativity and discovery, and inspires students and staff to work with information in all formats. However, we live and work in a digital environment. My students need and deserve a 21st century education and learning environment. To help me as I move toward a 21st century framework, I want to keep in mind some very helpful skills (used with permission of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, www.21stcenturyskills.org.).
Here in Library Commons Room 401, we embrace these four core values: Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Community. Keeping these four core values in mind, we will continuously strive to meet these five challenges:
- School libraries are knowledge centers, not information places.
- There will be evidence-based practice here.
- We will build partnerships and teams.
- We will engage Web 2.0 tools to develop deep inquiry.
- We will re-imagine school libraries.*
Teens are social learners. They value social experiences that blend communication and learning. This is why the Library Commons Room 401 aims to be the hub of inquiry. This is the place where the entire school community can learn, create, teach, and network.
Authentic understanding and knowledge are constructed through personal experience and reflection. **
In the Library Commons Room 401, students will learn to converse softly when collaborating. This is why I insist “the shush stops here.” How can we collaborate if we can’t communicate?
*source: Todd, R. (2009, November 20). To be or not to Be? re-imagining school libraries. Retrieved from
**source: Sinclair, B. (2007). Commons 2.0: library spaces designed for collaborative learning. Educause Quarterly, 30(4), Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/Commons20LibrarySpacesDesigned/162265