A well equipped library in a Twenty First Century School is a learning environment which enriches cognitive acquisition by providing digital resources that fit student learning needs.
They have become a different kind of learning destination when schools reimagine them as open, transparent spaces that invite student communication and collaboration.
Today, with the digitization of content and the ubiquity of the internet, information is no longer confined to printed materials accessible only in a single, physical location. Libraries are reinventing themselves as content becomes more accessible online and their role becomes less about housing tomes and more about connecting learners and constructing knowledge.
Printed books still play a critical role in supporting learners, but digital technologies offer additional pathways to learning and content acquisition. Students and teachers no longer need a library simply for access. Instead, they require a place that encourages participatory learning and allows for co-construction of understanding from a variety of sources. In other words, instead of being an archive, libraries are becoming a learning commons.
“The central purpose of this new learning environment is to encourage curiosity untrammelled by preconceptions or indeed physical barriers.”
The Future of Libraries
When every student has the potential to carry a global library on the device in his or her pocket, the role of physical libraries may become even more important, not just a place to house resources, but one in which to create meaning from them. The libraries of the 21st century provide a welcoming common space that encourages exploration, creation, and collaboration between students, teachers, and a broader community. They bring together the best of the physical and digital to create learning hubs. Ultimately, libraries will continue to inspire students to construct new knowledge and meaning from the world around them.