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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Librarians as models of learning

I had the chance to think about how librarians interact with the environment in which people learn. I guess a library is a 'learning environment' in lots of ways. For example we ordered the fixtures and fitting, the seats tables and display boards that make a physical environment. We can help set the social environment by creating a friendly or forbidding atmosphere. It is all do easy to achieve one or other of these entirely unconsciously. We also provide the tools in the way of OPACs, web sites and authentication systems that variously assist or hinder learning.

It strikes me that another, possibly unconscious, way in which we influence the learning environment is the way we model learning behaviour to others.

This might be seen in the way we welcome or reject new ideas. Or share bookmarks through services like Often though the way librarians learn is invisible as we do not choose to share the learning process with others. What if we did share the way we learn with others? Would they be able to learn from our experience as learners?

1 comment:

flickthecat said...

Yes, we should strive to set models but it also strikes me that it's a two way relationship and that we in turn need to learn from the students. Their needs and styles of learning are more diverse than ever and we need to take this on board. We are planning new environments for learners but our own mind sets also need some remodelling. Learning is a dynamic process and it's exciting to see the new possibilities that are opening up.