“Libraries are always quiet.” The reality that we have come to understand is that learning is not always quiet. If libraries are places of learning, which they definitely are, then libraries are NOT always quiet. Visit Aldrich and Pollard Libraries on Episcopal’s campus and you are guaranteed to see active learning take place on any given day. Whether it’s a class playing a game of Breakout EDU, a Skype visit taking place, or students using MakerSpace resources to create, the learning experiences in the library can be exciting, engaging, and often noisy.
“Libraries are traditional spaces.” If you walk into either library on campus, you will see many traditional elements of a library space: a circulation desk, books, magazines, computers, printers, tables, and chairs. A closer look will reveal designated spaces for collaborative work, an abundance of technology resources including 3D printers and video equipment, and a robust digital resource space. Students no longer use their school libraries to merely consume information; libraries are now laboratories for creation and innovation. Libraries provide learners with a resource-filled space that is safe for exploring new ideas, collaborating with peers, and creating new content.
“The Dewey Decimal System.” Most adults remember learning about the Dewey Decimal System, but don’t actually remember how to use it. The use of the Dewey Decimal System is one of those non-negotiable for many more traditional librarians. Some libraries, however, are seeing the tide turn and are looking for ways to make their collections more accessible and easy to use. Living in the Google age, students are used to having access to the information they need instantaneously. Episcopal’s libraries are working to make the collections more accessible to students by introducing a genre-based organizational system. Our middle and upper school students quickly took to the new arrangement of fiction books in the collection this school year.
Although school libraries still focus on basic pillars such as fostering a love of reading, developing strong research skills, and providing quality resources to learners, libraries continue to evolve to reflect these ideals. Episcopal is proud to provide students with libraries that strive to be an innovative space that meets the changing needs of today’s learners, with librarians who are dedicated to connecting students and teachers with the resources they need.
Tiffany has been an educator for nine years and joins the Episcopal faculty this year as the Upper and Middle School Librarian. A lifelong resident of Baton Rouge, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University and her Masters in Educational Technology Leadership from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. She has served as the President for ISTE’s Librarians Network and was recognized as one of ISTE’s 2014 Emerging Leaders. Tiffany is National Board Certified in Library Media and was named one of the 2014 Library Journal Movers & Shakers. She was the 2016 recipient of the Louisiana Library Media Specialist Award. Tiffany speaks regularly at state, national, and international conferences on school library and technology topics.