The Whole School Library Learning Commons

An Educator's Guide

by Judith Anne Sykes
Foreword by David V. Loertscher


Imagine a space where virtual and traditional pedagogies merge to transform learning ... this book explores how to create your own.

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Cover image for The Whole School Library Learning Commons

August 2016

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 151
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Librarian's Instructional Role/Curriculum and Instruction, K-12
  Management and Administration/General

Introduce your teachers, librarians, and administrators to the roles and responsibilities of educators in advocating a whole school library learning commons using this step-by-step guide for creating shared learning space in your school.

It is no surprise that technology has shifted the way we educate—bearing on how, what, and where we learn. This guide lays the framework for helping turn your school library into a whole school library learning commons (WSLLC)—a space where traditional academics merge with the latest technologies to engage learners in a way never before realized.

Author Judith Anne Sykes contends that since the WSLLC philosophy allows staff and students to co-create knowledge in a shared space, it is more effective than the traditional approach. Sykes addresses the differences between a school library and a WSLLC, provides reasons to champion its creation in your institution, and discusses how to use mentoring as a means to sustain its survival. The book explores the roles and responsibilities of educators in developing WSLLC goals and presents strategies for using typical assessment tools—including standardized tests, report cards, and anecdotal assessments—to help support its philosophy.


  • Links the use of the WSLLC to standards in education
  • Presents a doable plan to implement and sustain the learning commons approach in school
  • Illustrates how the WSLLC can be a means of increasing student engagement and improving academic achievement
  • Provides ideas for promoting the WSLLC concept to the education community
  • Offers suggestions for assessing the effectiveness of the WSLLC
  • Features strategies, standards, and checklists to support the program
Author Info

Judith Anne Sykes is an educational consultant as well as an advocate for the whole school library learning commons. She formerly served as a teacher librarian, district school library specialist, principal, and school library services manager for the Ministry of Education in Alberta, Canada. Her contribution to the Canadian Library Association's Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada, 2014 earned the publication the Ontario Library Association President's Award for Exceptional Achievement. Sykes' published works include several titles from Libraries Unlimited, including Library Centers: Teaching Information Literacy, Skills, and Processes K–6; Brain-Friendly School Libraries; and Conducting Action Research to Evaluate Your School Library. She received a bachelor's degree in English and drama from the University of Calgary, a master's degree in education from the University of Portland, as well as an educational diploma in curriculum and instruction in school libraries.



"Sykes' book offers a unique approach to the learning-commons concept."Booklist Online

"Sykes's book serves as a guide for school personnel to implement and sustain the WSLLC effectively. . . . This title will be useful for administrators, librarians, and teachers familiar with WSLLC, seeking to expand their knowledge for implementation."VOYA

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