BER Library Learning Spaces

Within our Diocese the BER program has provided us with numerous dynamic new Library Learning Spaces. We have visited a few  throughout the year -just to name a few Dapto, Unanderra and Picton who have kindly volunteered these spaces to host either a PD session or a network meeting. I am really interested to hear  TL’s comments, reflections and observations on the impact these new spaces have had within their school community.

Have you noticed any changes in teachers and or students in how they engage with your new library learning spaces.

I would also be interested to hear if these spaces have transformed the way you work and operate in supporting teachers and students within your schools.

This is a good opportunity to share some of your observations and open this discussion to the TL network. I am hoping that through this discussion we can generate some innovative ideas and ways to continue to engage teachers and students with these dynamic new learning spaces.

So have your say….


About shermoore

Education Officer from the CEO Wollongong
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5 Responses to BER Library Learning Spaces

  1. Kim says:

    An interesting topic! I am in the process of surveying students, staff and school community to come up with the ‘words’ we would use to describe our revamped library. It is amazing that ‘awesome’ comes up a lot (like in the checklist from ASLA/ALIA media campaign!). So it is clear that our library has been embraced as a great new ‘space’, somewhere everyone wants to ‘be’. Now, I’d love to know how to move to the next level of teachers ‘using’ this space for an alternate learning area in very distinct , short time blocks available, especially as our library is used virtually full time for borrowing/ RFF library lessons.

    My challenge is how to negotiate the time to be more co-operative in my teaching, when my time each week is relieving the teachers. Our new spaces are so fantastic, but I’d love to see our other skills exploited!! I want to learn from real co-operative teaching, ie TL, class teachers and students physically teaching and learning together in real time, inquiring, being curious, answering questions, information gathering, learning information processing skills. This is where I’d love to see our new spaces reach towards.

    I’d also like to keep conversing about this as time goes on. As there are increases in the amount of technology available in school libraries and possible subscriptions to online resources (?), we will need to keep promoting the ‘spaces’ that are our libraries and the integrated way they can be used for learning, and what makes them different (or the same?) as a classroom.

    Can’t wait to read other ideas. Advocating, promoting and standing up for our libraries is just beginning, now that our spaces look awesome, let’s lead the way for them to be used for even more ‘awesome’ learning.

    • shermoore says:

      You have the vision Kim- some great ideas. I like the idea of surveying students about the new space-good job!
      Im sure you will be successful in creating new opportunities for co-operative teaching within the library, this is the way to go, this is when you see the real benefits of teacher collaboration.
      When teachers have the opportunity to work with you in this capacity they also see first hand what a valuable asset you are in terms of supporting students developing information literacy skills.
      Good luck and keep us up to date with how this progresses.

  2. Chris Jaques:-) says:

    We are into our 3rd year of the new library. Ours was built before BER. Our library is a lovely open space, that takes up about 3 normal classroom sizes. It is built on top of the 3 Kinder refurbished rooms. In this area we have an office/TR room that could be larger, new shelving for Jun F, Sen F and NF, old but OK desks and chairs to seat @35, a smartboard, 15 new laptops (yes!), a reading corner with pillows and stools., 2 OPAC computers and a circultion desk.

    I have a lot of students comment that they love coming to the library. There are some students who I rarely see.

    Library activities vary from grade to grade. We are a 3 stream school with 5 kinder classes and 4 Yr 1 till the end of the year. Kinders have quick skills/literature lessons and borrowing with the class teacher present. With year 1 and year 2 I work in with literacy rotation twice a week. Year 3 literacy/ICT rotations once a week. Year 4 HSIE research using library resources once a week. Year 5 ICT/literacy/research skills with one class every 3 weeks. Year 6 Research skills once a week.

    Grades/ classes 1 – 6 follow a borrowing timetable during the 4 day library which sometimes coincides with classes/groups.

    A speech pathologist and SSO’s come in regularly and use the quieter wall spaces with a desk and chairs to work with individual students.

    Teachers often send small groups of students to work independently in the library while I have classes or in my admin time. If it is unsuitable I just send them back to class.

    Students take the opportunity to come whenever the library is open before school or at break times. They can choose to read, borrow, draw, research, play games, play chess, talk to friends and use the computers for educational purposes/games. It is open 4 mornings and 3 break times. Our school is very large and we need to have separate infants and primary break times. Because I work with all grades primary can come twice a week (Mon & Tues) and infants only once (Fri). I also have a primary duty on Fridays.
    Unfortunately we only run a 4 day library as I am on REC release every Thursday. On Thursdays the library can be used by classes if they wish. As I am on duty these days the library is not open before or during break times.

    The library can be a very busy place. I would love to see a 5 day library so there would be more access for students and teachers.
    Sorry for the length of this post. I got carried away!!

  3. shermoore says:

    I can see that with a three/four stream school there leaves less time for flexibility in timetabeling. This is where your challenge lies. I think I would start by inviting the teachers to share their thoughts/views on how the library space/timetable is working. This may give you some insights and at least a starting point to pursuing alternate possibilities.
    Apart from being a 5 day library – ask yourself what would YOU like to see happening more in this space- and how can I make this happen.
    Start with something simple!
    I would like to throw this to the group to any other 3 stream schools who may also be challenged by tight timetables etc?
    One action research focus you could take on is to possibly target those students whom you don’t see visit the library- talk to them and get some feedback on what they would like t see/do in the library space? See what ideas they have.
    Thanks for your comments Chris- good job!

  4. Jan Poder says:

    Since we have had our new library space open. The teachers have been really keen to work in the learning spaces with their class or groups of children. Because the learning space is so… big and flexiable it lends it self to lots of open space learning and co learning. Whether that be cross grade or cross stage.Janet can be teaching at one end of the library, a group maybe outside and another group maybe at the computer lab… It is always a busy productive place. Having the teachers keen to be here, they are aware of what we doing and we can prompt ourselves. Janet was even thinking of having teachers supervise the library at lunchtimes, that way the staff would see how much the children value the library and the close relationships that we can form with them. We are loving working in the new space and hope to work together with the school community to what other things they would like to see happening ? how can we all make this happen ? What they would like to change ?

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