The Future Focus of Libraries – more than a makerspace

The current trend to turn Libraries into ‘makerspaces’ makes sense. The library space is the heart of many schools and when a school has a limited number of digital technology tools it makes sense to house them in one place. Without doubt, having resources readily available for students to tinker with creatively has many benefits, for both teaching and learning. The real question is how do we prevent the library from becoming just a ‘playroom’ or worse still, a ‘storeroom’ for technology?
This session will provide practical examples of how a library program can promote digital technologies and creativity, whilst still keeping a focus on teaching the information processing skills that are so important in today’s society. We will look at a new, simplified ‘Information Processing (Inquiry) Model’ and map opportunities for the integration of digital technologies to each step.
We will review a ‘Planning for Learning’ framework that helps us to focus on the skills we teach rather than content. Visible thinking is a key focus within the framework. How do I want my students to think and how can I make that thinking visible – are core considerations. I am still amazed at the depth of learning and creativity that visible thinking routines promote. You will discover how the simple phrase “What makes you say that?” takes us beyond simply hearing a student response and enables us to have an insight into why they made that response.
I will be excited if you leave the session believing that the future of libraries needs to be a blend of knowledge, skills and thinking – so much more than a makerspace.