Just as success in the Industrial Age depended on a school system that taught us how to read and write, add and subtract; our success in the Information Age depends on a school system that teaches us how to manage information, utilize technologies, innovate, and above all - think.

The relationship of these new communication tools with our students is what schools and libraries need to absorb and embrace. We are just beginning to realize the power of technology on our communication, research and critical thinking. A new era is still just ramping up. Where it will lead us is, as yet, unimagined. Changes will continue to be profound, exciting… and bigger than all of us. Together we stand to harness unseen potential. The Learning Commons provides direction in the face of this great change. The Learning Commons provides schools, school libraries, educators and students with the increased flexibility and breadth of control needed for the challenges ahead.
 Together for Learning (2010). Making It Happen.

Matthew Barrett, Globe and Mail

Lead by Example: Showing Rather Than Telling

Ideas   Examples & Resources
  • Promote and encourage reading for pleasure and for information.
  Reading Engagement Ideas
  • Learn about and incorporate new technologies and social networking tools.
  • Coach students to build knowledge through inquiry-based learning.
  Discovery and Guided Inquiry Ideas
  • Foster creative and critical thinking
  Critical and Creative Thinking Ideas  
  • Understand and implement Universal Design for Learning - also called Differentiated Instruction.
  • Foster a cycle of continuous improvement through good assessment practices.
  • Understand and implement safe, legal and ethical practices when working with physical and virtual resources.
  Multiple Literacy Ideas
  • Move from complaining and blaming to an action advocacy stance.
  Action is Eloquence: Advocacy Advice for School Libraries

Make Strong Connections to Educational Goals and Priorities

Ideas   Examples & Resources
  • Connect with teachers in your school with ideas for how the library program can support their programs.
  Lisgar Library Staff Orientation Brochure.pdf
  • Provide information for students and parents on how the library supports learning.
  Lisgar Library Student & Parent Brochure 2012.pdf 
  • Engage in collaborative leadership within your school.
  • Mentor new teachers and encourage experienced teachers in new directions.
  • Build personal learning networks and professional communities of practice.
  • Use the Supporting Principals page of this website to see the strong relationships between Together for Learning and Ontario's Leadership Framework for Principals and Vice-Principals. Use the chart to guide discussions with your school's administration.
  • Make the case for collaborative leadership for achieving school goals.
  The Trillium (ASCD Ontario, 2014). Collaborative Leadership: A Learning Commons Model (See p. 5)
  • Take every opportunity to meet with decision-makers. Be prepared to make the case for how the library learning commons can help them achieve their goals. Build partnerships with realistic "asks".
  From the President: Value, Influence, Positioning: Advocacy by a New Name

Tell Your Story

Ideas   Examples & Resources
  • Blog about your practice, and share your own learning journey.
  By the Brooks
Monday Molly Musings
  • Connect with other educators and decision-makers through social media. Make the case for the role of the library learning commons and teacher-librarians in these professional learning communities. Start by following T4L on Twitter!
  • Take every opportunity to highlight successes at staff meetings, in school newsletters, on the school website, and beyond.
  • Reach out to natural allies for support. Their voices may have more impact with decision-makers.
   Opinion: In Defense of School Librarians, in Canadian Children's Book News (link at bottom of page)

Know the Research and Keep Current With Practice

Ideas   Examples & Resources
  • Be knowledgeable about the findings of international studies.
  Library Research Service: School Library Impact Studies
  • Be knowledgeable about Ontario-specific studies. Use the advocacy resources provided by the Ontario Library Association and the Ontario School Library Association.
   OLA: Support Strong School Libraries
  • Be knowledgeable about Leading Learning, national standards for school library learning commons published in 2014 by the Canadian Library Association, and use the standards to advocate for change.
  RSC Expert Panel: Recommendations for School Libraries

  Promote the cohesive, national vision of the school library learning commons expressed in Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada (CLA, 2014) and an understanding of the role of teacher-librarians as leaders in collaborative learning for the new century.