TMC7 Daly

The Potential of the School Library Learning Commons

by Heather Daly

This paper takes us on the author’s authentic journey into library a learning commons approach that truly prepares students for their future worlds. In the author’s words, “when we are talking about what libraries value and do, we are talking about discovery, opportunity, creativity, future jobs, technology, flexibility, growth mindset; we are also talking about STEAM.”

Heather Daly is the Coordinator, STEAM and Resource Innovation for SD43 Coquitlam in British Columbia. From UBC, she holds two Bachelor-level degrees (Cell Biology & Genetics, and Middle Years Science Education), one Diploma of Education (Teacher-Librarianship), and two Master-level degrees (Library and Information Studies and Archival Studies). She frequently contributes at UBC as an Adjunct Professor (Teacher-Librarian Diploma & Certificate program) and is the BC Teachers’ Federation representative to Focused Education Resources. Heather is the recipient of several awards including BC Teacher-Librarian of the Year (2017), the Ontario Library Association President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement (2013), the Margaret B. Scott Award of Merit (2011), and the Angela Thacker Memorial Award (2009). She is a Past President of the BC Teacher-Librarians' Association (2008-2017) where she contributed to the development of critical documents such as Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada. Other previous roles include Program Chairperson for the 2017 PSA Superconference and Vice Chairperson of the BC Libraries Cooperative Board of Directors.

Read the paper.


  1. Heather,
    Your paper is so media-rich; not only does it begin with an image but it really dives into one of the 8 key concepts of media literacy - that form and content are closely related. I also like your use of those rhetorical questions. Another "like" for me is the inclusion of challenges, of classes that tested your resolve and made your brain pulse in trying to figure out how to reach them where they were at instead of wishing they were different. I don't have a lot of questions (yet) but I have another appreciation: thanks for calling it STEAM. My principal is rather attached to calling it STEM because that's the acronym our school board uses, so both to irk him (and stress the importance of the Arts), I always call it STEAM.
    Diana M

  2. You have a truly engaging way with words, Heather. You provide just enough to succintly capture your philosophy and practice yet still make me eager to hear more.

    I love the way your paper begins with the hurdle that in most people's minds that a library is "the space with books". I think you hit the nail on the head by reframing a library as a purpose and means to action, about connection before content instead of vice versa.

    Thank you also for providing your prep document as part of your paper. Developing a streamlined tracking system for classes and outcomes is an area of growth I'd like to focus on. Examples are hard to find and the simplicity of yours really speaks to me.

    Finally, as Diana said, STEAM all the way!

  3. Heather I hope you'll understand when I tell you that I just had too much to say so I wrote a blog about your paper and table talk:


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