The Hyperlinked Library as Evolving Classroom: Creating Anytime Learning Spaces
Contributor(s)San Jose State University
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AbstractEmerging technologies for creation, communication and collaboration are changing libraries and the way the world learns and interacts. In A New Culture of Learning , authors Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown write, "Where imaginations play, learning happens.” This should define library services for now and in the future. "Library as classroom" can help people achieve, make the library a laboratory for exploration, creation zones with hardware for building things, and potentially endless opportunities to connect virtually with people worldwide. Intelligence, user-sensitive planning, and insights from research will guide the creation and implementation of physical and virtual library spaces that function as creative and playful environments. The library as classroom requires inspired and insightful management that can do these things and more. The library as classroom also requires well-trained, user-focused staff who understand how people of all ages can learn socially. Art programs, DIY tinkering, locally sourced expert forums, and LOOCs (local open online courses) are all part of this curriculum. Online, multi-scale platforms aimed at social learning and participation will spark new conversations that spread deep within library culture and extend out into disciplines that have historically made few connections with physical library collections or librarians. There are disproportions in comfort, experience, and ability with technologies, and all types of libraries should offer learning programs that aim at enhancing the public's digital literacies. Librarians must experiment with new roles in these expansive spaces where learning is a continuous conversation. Practices of exploration, participation, and play can turn the gathering and use of information into sequences of discovery that foster innovation and invention. Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change.