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APSDS training days: rethinking the library for the 21st century

The École branchée took part in the training days of the Association for the promotion of school documentary services (APSDS) which were held on December 13 and 14 in Drummondville. […]

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The École branchée took part in the training days of theAssociation for the promotion of school documentary services (APSDS) which was held on December 13 and 14 in Drummondville. Some 85 librarians and documentation technicians gathered there to attend conferences on various subjects affecting the rapidly changing school library environment. Summary of an inspiring event where technological innovation is at the heart of the announced changes.

Development and marketing of school libraries

School libraries remain a must in the cultural offer offered by schools: a diversified, adapted, accessible and renewed library is often a guarantee of an environment conducive to learning and open to the world. It is therefore with this in mind that the APSDS has invited its members to two days of sharing on the theme "the development and marketing of school libraries".

Learning hubs

The evolution of teaching practices and the rise of digital technology in the world of education allow school libraries to constantly surpass themselves in what they have to offer and make it possible innovative projects preparing students for the challenges of tomorrow. For example, we hear more and more about “learning hubs” when it comes to rethinking 21st century libraries. A place where all the actors are brought to collaborate, where learning by investigation is supported by librarians, where digital technology is part of the experience and where reading for pleasure remains a must.

The learning hub then becomes a central element in a school, offering a variety of spaces, tools and resources in the service of student success.

Design thinking

These training days also put forward the “ design thinking ", this approach consisting in using design methods when you are not a designer by trade. To bring libraries up to date and creatively solve their daily challenges, you have to think like a designer and design user-centric projects that try to meet their needs as best as possible. Various concepts were then proposed to the members of the APSDS with regard to the possible arrangements of “third place” libraries (this expression refers to the place that the library should take in people's lives, halfway through between home and workplace). These different ideas therefore focus on "user experience", taking care to consider every detail. For example, the way to present new books to students, the height of the shelves, the layout of the desk at the reception or the places to sit in the library are the subject of a reflection that puts several criteria in perspective. . A design application, Home Design 3D, was even presented to the participants so that they could design three-dimensional plans of their library and furnish the spaces according to the “design thinking” approach.

Digital: an effective ally

Librarians 2.0 have seen their tasks diversify with the advent of new technologies. In fact, more and more of them allow students to engage in co-creation processes with programming or educational robotics. They also run “escape games” right in their library and use QR codes to introduce young people to new things. They even use augmented reality to motivate students to participate in reading circles.

In short, digital technology is indeed present on a daily basis in school libraries and it must remain an effective ally in the perpetual quest for the book that will make the difference in the life of the student.

For the pleasure of reading

Beyond digital technology and all innovative approaches to revitalize school libraries, the librarians and documentation technicians gathered during these training days all have a common goal: to promote and share the pleasure of reading. It is also in this perspective that a surprise guest, David Goudreault, came to ignite the audience by reciting a few slams and telling several anecdotes about his life as a reader. He, among other things, mentioned the major importance of libraries in his personal journey and shared the fact that reading had really saved his life. This popular, internationally renowned author and slammer paid a heartfelt and touching tribute to the librarians and documentation technicians gathered for the occasion. 

A hymn to all those who make books a pleasure to share, who open the door to new horizons, which allow one to escape and rebuild the world, one page at a time.

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