Now, let’s return to consider the common features of what “discovery” means. Discovery is a transformativeexperience where we have crossed a threshold into an understanding that fundamentally changes us and influences our future actions. After a moment of discovery, we cannot view the world in same way we have in the past. This is where discovery closely parallels the idea of threshold concepts in information literacy where these threshold concepts aredefined as transformative, integrative, irreversible, bounded and troublesome (Visit the Threshold Concepts and Information Literacy website for many freely available resources). An example in my personal experience is my discovery of the world of audiobooks that fundamentally changed my perspective and provided access to books that I would not have read or been able to read previously. Moby Dick read by Anthony Heald, was one of my first audiobooks. When ever I had picked up a copy of Moby Dick, I felt it to be too cumbersome, too much of an epic investment to attempt, however, to have it read to me by a professional voice actor opened up whole new experience of literature and story that was previously obscure to me. This discovery was transformative and fundamentally added to my literary experience. Continue reading Designed for discovery (Part II : Features of discovery)
“Six Educational Strategies That The Design Principles Should Support”
From “A Blueprint for Tomorrow : Redesigning Schools for Student-Centred Learning” by Prakash Nair
Inspired by our secondary students who have been using Booksnaps over recent weeks, I decided to make my own. The problem is that my #Booksnap grew to become a #BigBookSnap. I am definitely biased here but it often seems that the school library is an obvious place to support student centred learning through collaboration, supportive environments, technology, flexibility and opportunities for connection, since these have long been the core functions of the school library. This BigBookSnap picks up on some of Nair’s strategies and connects them directly with the library. This is not really in the spirit of the concise booksnap but here it is anyway.
Social media and new digital channels ensure that our connected world is always evolving. Branding in the commercial environment is no longer about projecting a message to an audience, it is about connections between people. This is where the traditionally commercial role of branding and the role of libraries converge. Libraries are still about books, knowledge and ideas but both the format, the medium and the modes libraries work across have expanded exponentially. Embedded in this expansion are the ways in which the library connects with people and more importantly, the ways the library connects people-to-people, ideas-to-ideas, needs-to-needs. Advertising agencies are no longer isolated in silos working to a brief provided by a company CEO, they are getting into the shoes of a company and into the shoes of the customers, connecting networking, working across platforms, focusing their message, and co-creating with their clients.
This is where libraries have always been and where they are ideally placed to meet the needs of patrons in a connected world. For libraries, branding is an important piece to this puzzle and is an often neglected one. Branding a library is not about projecting a new modern face and it is not about sending the right message. The message is what libraries do. In this context, branding is about making connections between what people do and what libraries do. Libraries do things in society that no other organisation or system does. Libraries offer an experience, a collaborative space, an inspiration, and a story that no other physical or virtual space offers. Leveraging branding and marketing strategies offers useful insights into how libraries can make more authentic and meaningful connections within the community.
Some lessons from the world of marketing
There are two fields of study that I would like to bring together to create a deep but accessible framework to examine the impact of the environment on student learning. Of particular interest to me is the impact of the presence books on learning in combination with other technologies however this framework could be applied to many other aspects of the learning environment.
- The Embodied Mind.
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.