It started a couple year ago. The Kenora Catholic District School Board started to think about their schools a little differently. Innovation and Creativity Coordinator Jamey Robertson explained.

"We started considering our spaces in the school informal learning spaces, so places like hallways and foyers, and then centralized learning spaces like computer labs and libraries. We then started to imagine what they could become to be more capable learning spaces, given the future, given what we know about collaboration and cooperative group work," he said.

One of the areas of their schools the board is working to improve are libraries. Robertson talked about the idea behind the changes.

"Take learning outside of the classroom. Bring it into those informal areas, or central areas, in our school. Add capacity. So, we like to have things in there that may not be in a traditional library, or may not be in a traditional classroom for that matter," he explained.

Robertson said the response to the libraries at École Ste-Marguerite Bourgeoys, which began work on its library during the 2017-2018 school year, and St Louis School which started its transition in 2015, have been positive.  

"I would say that the main response is that they are able to serve staff and students in new ways. Those were spaces that were always used in the past, it's not like they were unused. It was just that now they are supporting new capacities," he said.

He touched on what the library space is now like for students.

"Still books. Still the ability to sign that out. Still the ability to sit down and read, and find a quiet place to yourself. But, also the ability to maybe conduct an invention, to learn a new skill. Whether it's with technology or something hands on," he said.

Robertson said the idea is to promote other types of literacy for students.

"It's about looking at literacy in a different way. Entrepreneurial literacy, financial literacy, digital financial literacy, invention literacy. Those are the capacities we wanted in there, along with the traditional versions of what it means to be literate in the world," he explained.

The board is also working to improve their classroom spaces.

librarysmbThe library at SMB is one of the areas upgraded by the KCDSB (Courtesy KCDSB)

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