By Judith Sykes
Moving Forward: Implementing and Sustaining School Library Learning Commons (SLLC) Through Mentoring, Accountability, Research, Community (MARC)
There is great hope for a sustainable future for SLLCs to continue to grow, thrive and become normative school culture for all Canadian students. How can Canadian schools mitigate the forces of change over time and implement the steps and tools contained in Leading Learning: Standards Of Practice For Effective School Library Learning Commons In Canada? Implementing and sustaining the changes will require each school to pose many questions and collaborate for strategic solutions to move through the phases outlined in Leading Learning. Schools will have to address questions such as “What happens as key members and/or champions of SLLC leave schools?” “What about school leaders who think that SLLC standard implementation isn’t “in the budget” or is an “add on”?” “Why do thriving SLLC’s wither away?” The answers to these questions warrant study within each school, in each district and province or territory. The author suggests that a way SLLC teams could think about addressing SLLC implementation and sustainability is through remembering MARC – Mentoring, Accountability, Research, and Community. How do these MARC concepts work in SLLC transformation? Read on to discover the strategies.
Judith Anne Sykes has worked as a teacher-librarian, school library specialist, principal and provincial school library manager; leading Alberta Education’s School Library Services Initiative 2008-2012. She has led associations, published and presented extensively including acting as co-chair/principal writer of Achieving Information Literacy Through Quality School Library Programs: The Vision and Standards for School Library Programs in Canada, and recently, project coordinator/contributing writer for the Canadian Library Association (CLA) Leading Learning: Standards Of Practice For School Library Learning Commons In Canada 2014. She is the author of five books with Libraries Unlimited: Library Centers: Teaching Information Literacy, Skills, and Processes K-6; Action Research: Practical Tips for Transforming Your School Library; Brain-Friendly School Libraries; Conducting Action Research to Evaluate Your School Library; and forthcoming The Whole School Library Learning Commons: An Educators’ Guide.