What is “The Library Element”?

Welcome to new The Library Element blog. I have poured myself into renovating, developing, refining and honing our library here are Vientiane International School. After often being asked about the redevelopment process, I have decided to begin The Library Element to document and share the many details and facets about the what, the how and, most importantly, the why behind what we have done. Please feel free to contact me if you have any comments or questions about anything you read on The Library Element.

So why “The Library Element”? The word “element” has multiple meanings in different contexts so it is suitably ambiguous for the purposes of considering the many different elements of the library.

We can find ourselves in our element in the library. The library is a unique space not found in other physical or social structures in our community.

Never understimate the significance of the library element in our communities. The connection between student achievement across all ages and a well resourced library with professional staff is unarguable. The correlation has been reinforced through numerous studies [ala; alsa; NY Comprehensive Center; IOE London]. We are not just talking about student achievement but also a personal and community sense of wellbeing is enhanced by the presence of a cultural centre such as the libary. Without the library element we begin to lose the very fabric of our community and society as a whole.

The library is an element in our community that cannot be reduced to a simpler form. In fact the role of the library in the information age has only expanded [New literacies; IASL; ASLA Learning without frontiers] .

The library is a primary constituent of our society. There is a reason why any despot, tyrant, marauder or dictatorship targets the destruction of the library as a means for control and the suppression of independent thought and free speech [Books on Fire].

Welcome to The Library Element.

Philip

Element: Oxford dictionary (British & World English)

1. An essential or characteristic part of something abstract.

2. Each of more than one hundred substances that cannot be chemically interconverted or broken down into simpler substances and are primary constituents of matter. Each element is distinguished by its atomic number.

3. Any of the four substances (substances (earth, water, air, and fire) regarded as the fundamental constituents of the world in ancient and medieval philosophy.

4. A person’s or animal’s natural or preferred environment.

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