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Rethinking library with Carolyn and Shannon

If you were busy doing anything else last night, lucky for you this particular TLCafé was archived.  (Well, they all are.)

But, last night Shannon Miller and Carolyn Foote were truly inspirational as they discussed their own experiences and shared images about rethinking and improving the space we call libraryTiffany Whitehead moderated expertly.

Our friends shared their ideas about seriously considering intension and purpose and thinking about what to unthink–things like permanence and what learning looks like.

They discussed learning about design thinking; carefully watching the way students work; the inspiration we can get from looking closely at coffee shops and hotels and office spaces and from visiting other schools and libraries.

Carolyn advised (among many other things): conducting video learning interviews with students; using visual listening exercises; identifying obstacles with stickynotes; using critical friends to watch the space’ surveying stakeholders; incorporating strategic brainstorming; thinking through a whole day through the lens space.  Carolyn talked about cave spaces and her juice bar/help desk; and giving things a name.  For instance, she focused her design efforts on what she called designing a transparent library.

Shannon described how she continues to take from her art school experience and how her first remodel involved a small team of family and friends who moved furniture, made curtains, collected furniture and painted.  She described how kids use exisiting space to create niches and make the space their own.  She talked about making it work.   Shannon also described the process of working with the architect.

Whether you are strategizing major renovations or thinking about small tweaks (and shouldn’t we all?) give yourself some time to

spend an hour on the Webinar Archive and visit the text archive (reThinkinglibrary.txt and the download link)

Here’s a recent SLJ article about the Van Meter building project: The Heart of the School: Iowa’s Van Meter District Plans Library Expansion

And here’s the Padlet brainstorm.  Prepared to be inspired!

[padlet key=’olcf25839o’ width=’100%’ height=’480′]

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Floyd Pentlin says

    Don’t know if anyone else has trouble seeing the archive but after an hour of frustration with trying to download Blackboard Collaborate I had to move on. Hope this wasn’t a barrier for anyone else.

    • Curious about your trouble, I clicked in opened and confirmed archive recording quality in less than a minute. That does not diminish your frustration, but makes me want to offer a hand in solving your difficulty. I encourage you to try again, as Joyce wrote the session was a lively one. Elluminate SKYPE, Google+, Adobe Connect and all the other available webinar tools all have their updates and download first steps along a path leding to smooth online PD…and most frustrations are worth overcoming. It is the value of the content and ease of engagement (I participated in this TLChat audience from my tablet in a coffee shop while waiting to pick up my son from school soccer practice) keep me an enthusiastic fan of #TLChat and other online communities supported by ever-improving web tools like Collaborate.

  2. I totally agree that Shannon and Carolyn were so inspirational! I took notes and I’m ordering the books mentioned:

    •The Language of School Design
    •Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration
    •The Third Teacher

  3. @Floyd–If you were using a Mac version 10.8 or later there were some compatibility issues and some special “go arounds” that a document that came along with blackboard provided. If you find those, the go around worked for me. Basically I had to change my settings to allow for downloads from anywhere. If you get a chance to retry, it’s worth the effort.

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