21st Century Libraries - The Library Learning Commons

This Fall, we unveiled the future of high school libraries in Thames Valley. The new Library Learning Commons at Saunders Secondary School represents a milestone in the evolution of high school libraries – and a symbol of our commitment to transform secondary education across the valley.

Many of us think of a library as a place to find resources for borrowing – books, movies or music. As a student you might have used the library as a quiet place to study, sitting alone at a table with your texts and notes. But things have changed. “We need to provide modern, engaging spaces to help our students to be curious and knowledgeable about our world today and tomorrow,” says Thames Valley’s Director of Education, Laura Elliott. Laura foresees the comfortable, high-tech space at Saunders as “the learning hub of the school.”

There are multiple research studies which indicate that students who have access to a learning commons perspective are more likely to exhibit advanced student achievement and literacy development. We know that critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and the ability to create new knowledge are essential skills for today’s students. These skills are the foundation of the curriculum and must be embedded in all aspects of school life, including the physical space.

The $1.6-million project at Saunders included a flexible presentation space, a collaborative space with charging stations for electronics, a creative space with a green screen for audio-visual production and editing, a lounge area, and spaces for individual learning.

The major redesign of high school libraries is one of the goals of Rethink Secondary Learning – a report on the future of secondary education across Thames Valley published in 2016.

The report engaged thousands of students, teachers, parents and other stakeholders who offered their views on how Thames Valley can provide a more progressive secondary school experience to meet the needs of today’s high school students.

Director Elliott says the Board hopes to redesign libraries at two or three high schools each year. The next Library Learning Commons projects include Huron Park Secondary School in Woodstock and Parkside Collegiate Institute in St. Thomas.


Our Library Learning Commons projects are just one initiative to transform our secondary schools. Find out more what we are doing to Rethink Secondary

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