Have you ever seen a room full of elementary or middle school students engaging in their own learning? Here’s our dilemma: How might we engage disengaged students? How might we turn their need to connect socially into learning experiences? How do we move from what might sometimes look like a train station full of disengaged students to a center of innovation?
Libraries are trying to be many things at once. Quiet spaces and active spaces. A space for writing, a
space for listening, for building, inventing, discussing, and reading. We find ourselves as a relief from
class, a supporter of class, a teacher of class, and an inventor of new classes all at the same time. This is an enormous task for us as librarians, to be the glue that holds all of these huge moving parts together, to provide the connections.
If we say that ideas form the connections, how might we encourage new, wild, and divergent ideas for our libraries?
Donna Johns, Newton Public Schools, SLMS