Just want to thank Jacqueline van Dyk , Director, Public Library Services Branch, Ministry of Education, for her visit to the Library at Kelowna Secondary School yesterday. Not only was it wonderful to be asked but also a real joy to chat with a person of her stature who understands the frame of reference and goals of public education and school libraries specifically. What a valuable asset BC has with her role in the Ministry.
Her intent was to explore our ‘learning commons’. I’m certainly no expert in this field but my experience and philosophy comprehends the intent and can witness the vision on many days at KSS. There is nothing like seeing a program in real time and space. Thankfully we had 3 classes and the usual suspects filling the space. Ms. Dyk was so patient and interested with the operation and design of the area and program. She had to tolerate the polite interruption of students and faculty several times- welcome to the reality of a ‘commons’. Whether a small library, a grand learning commons or a hybrid space, the productivity of this space and resources is very dependent on the school culture and the appropriate available expertise available. A commons model does not function with just brick and mortar or glass and stainless steel. It needs services managed and accessible by specialists. I know them by the name ‘teacher-librarian’ but you can change semantics, the kids only want to get assistance and guidance when they need it.
Ms. Dyk understands the value of this model and the assets required to make it work for our children.
Thank you very very much for a great time. Next time, on your turf ok?