Saturday, February 1, 2020

The Big Think: David Loertscher

David Loertscher spoke about the need to disrupt our current thinking about the Library Learning Commons.





The ways we access information continue to change, so David prompted the group to think about "Library Learning Commons ² or Library Learning Commons 2.0" as a school-wide learning commons and respond to these questions.




After an energetic discussion period, groups shared their answers which are linked in the TMC6 schedule.

“Yesterday, you had a Learning Commons. Tomorrow, take over the whole school! Be visible and indispensable.” 

David encouraged participants to “get around to it” with these reminder tokens: 




David has created a new School-Wide Learning Commons website directed towards the whole school.

Table Talk Snapshots Round 2

Our second round of Table Talks for TMC6 papers featured as many rich conversations as the first round!  Here are two tables' discussions:

Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy in a Racially Homogenous School by Rabia Khokhar




In a racially homogenous school, Rabia wanted something specific to work towards in a Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy (CRRP) and equity framework. The role of the LLR to help students to become active citizens provided a great fit in developing critical consciousness.  

Orange Shirt Day offered an opportunity to provide library learning experiences to primary and junior grades to increase students’ knowledge of Orange Shirt Day. Rabia's guiding question was: “What role am I going to play in teaching the truth?” 

Introducing concepts of allies, reconciliation and discrimination to students in an accessible way was important.  Students started to think critically about Canada’s history of residential schools.

Participants suggested potential next steps including the KAIROS Blanket Exercise and Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada floor map. LLCs are great places to facilitate these, make these powerful connections for students, and to deepen this learning.

Participants also made the connection to Jennifer Brown’s site as a helpful starting point for working with the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada floor map. 

One participant worked with grade 7&8 Indigenous students on I Am Not a Number for an FNMI symposium and had students identify connections they wanted to make.  

During these processes, one participant has had Indigenous elders provide a healing space for students who find the learning emotionally difficult.

Participants also discussed addressing intergenerational trauma.

Reflections in the Library Learning Commons: Collaboration by Jennifer Brown



Jennifer has created a website with embedded podcasts and slides reflecting on her past 10 of collaboration.  

"I felt pretty strongly that I needed to jump into something I could add to and that models the tech and tools I’m working on getting students and teachers to embrace...Why not actually try it?"

We’re trying to work with our kids to see that slide presentations have a lot more potential than someone standing at the front of the class talking to you.  Embedding slides shows students ways we can use a more traditional method in creative ways.

“There are no rules as long as I’m serving my students.”

The site features a section on the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada floor map including the collaborative experience and planning, photos of set up, and documenting and sharing learning. 

Jennifer also wanted to demonstrate what an authentic learning walk that is developmental can be.  Students are now using the learning walk as a text two months later.  Looking at next steps, how can we make this interactive?

Lots of pedagogical documentation from Jennifer as a TL is featured on the site, including noticings, wonderings, discussions, and quotes.


Spotlight Speaker: Deborah Dundas


Deborah Dundas joined us to discuss her article, Who Do We See in Kids' Books? Star Survey Provides Insight into Diversity of Canadian Publishers and the Characters they Develop.  

This research began in March of 2019 when Deborah developed a survey to measure diversity specifically in Canadian publishing in 2018.

This required setting standards for what material is considered Canadian and who to target (approximately 55 publishers across the country).

The majority of participants reacted positively to the survey and the return rate was approximately 75%.

You can read the results of the survey in the article. 

Deborah plans to do the survey again this year and identified certain issues to consider further including representation of disabled people, who gets to read which books and their availability in small-town libraries, listing specific titles as a resource for educators, librarians, and communities, and a more granular breakdown of the authors and illustrators for a full picture of own voices representation.

Questions and comments from our TMC6 participants included representing the diversity of our school communities in collections (rather than of Canada as a whole) and considering the intersectionality of identities in books.