Learning Commons Are Replacing the School Library

Learning Commons Are Replacing the School Library

Before grade 11 I always saw a library as a large quiet room with shelves of old books that would go on for miles. I would imagine them as dark places with evil librarians that shushed loudly at the sound of someone’s breath. You may call this the “old-fashioned library model”.  It wasn’t until school became a little more demanding did I ever actually go to the library, and too my surprise, it wasn’t all that bad. I assume it was because I was lucky enough to finish school right at the cusp of the turning trend of learning commons.


Teenagers want to be treated as adults. This high school learning commons is grown-up and playful at the same time.As many educators know, printed materials still play an important part in supporting today’s students. However, with the digital world offering many different pathways for students to acquire information, it has become a critical role for supporting learners. The library is no longer needed for access of information. Instead Students and teachers need a place that will encourage participatory learning, collaboration, and a strong foundation of understanding the information from an array of sources. In other words, instead of making libraries and archive of information, libraries are evolving into learning commons.


Libraries today are more important than they have ever been with the formula to succeed constantly moving forward. Critically acclaimed researchers out of Hi Willow Research & Publishing describe the modern learning commons “the hub of the school, where exemplary learning and teaching is showcase, where professional development, teacher and learning experimentation and action research happen”.

By converting your school library to a learning common, you would be creating the opportunity for more student success in the current scene of the educational rebuild. In this developing learning system, libraries are the physical heart of the school. They are strategically placed to lead and support students through their educational transition, on the condition that teachers and principals want to try new ways of working that will better the students and teachers.

Here is a quick tip from JM&C on how to stimulate student collaboration and individualized learning. These learning commons are filled with flexible furnishings that encourage students to sit together. Now a days libraries host book clubs, book talks, and author visits. While in class time, students are encouraged to visit the school learning commons to seek out topics of interest for research projects and discussions. In some schools, learning commons incorporate performance spaces for presentations, classes, and a “show what they know” activity.

elementary school layout

With the recent addition of electronic devices such as tablets and eBooks to the library collection, ensures engagement for even the stubborn and harrowing readers. In addition, to the opportunity of students using the school library to conduct independent research, they can be used as a break out space from their regular class, or as a meeting place for clubs and teams.


If you are fortunate enough to be working within a school with access to these types of resources, take advantage of the benefits you have been given. If the school you are working for hasn’t quite adapted to the learning commons, I strongly encourage and invite you to do your research on learning commons. If you would like to find out more or simply not quite convinced about these learning commons, call a Jonathan Morgan respresentative. Our helpful staff will answer every question you have and can get your quote stage going in no time. Click here to contact.

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