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The 21st Century Librarian: How an IB workshop helped me transform my library

By Ambika Kapur

What does a 21st-century library look like? Gone are endless rows of shelves packed full of books, meticulously catalogued by the librarian. Today’s libraries are digitally driven, innovative learning spaces. What is the role of the librarian in this environment and how can they best support students?

My colleagues – without their support and involvement we would not have succeeded

In the IB online workshop, ‘The role of the librarian’ we tried to answer some of these questions. It emphasized that the Library and Librarian together play an important role in IB schools. We were introduced to several new tools, and to documents which can be employed in implementing and extending our services to our community. I also got to hear from my peers operating in the same profession across the globe, many of whom I still keep in contact with. At the end of the workshop, I created an action plan, focused on ways to engage my community with the library.

Students working on an assignment on ATL Skills

One month after the workshop:
I started implementing my action plan by connecting myself with each and every member of our school community, making sure that everyone, from students to community members, were participating in the library. I created activities for parents such as mom and daughter session and an ‘adopt-a-shelf’ alongside opportunities to visit the library during weekends.

Activities for students included assignments to build Approaches to Learning (ATL) Skills, research information, academic honesty sessions, and guest lecturers. These activities have been received positively by our faculty, as we try to create the most immersive and enriching experiences for our students. Check out some examples of our activities below.

Putting ATL skills into practice

IB students are constantly acquiring knowledge, but how should they utilize it? ATL skills, such as communication, self-management and critical thinking are crucial in teaching students how to responsibly apply their knowledge. We conducted sessions in Middle Years Programme (MYP) Grade 6 and 10 to emphasize these skills. The objective of these sessions was to bring ATL skills into every IB classroom. MYP students were engaged in the process of learning and developing their skills.

Online Research Session:

The aim of the online research session was to provide an overview of resources that may be useful to students and to identify which resources best suit their needs.

My quest to create a space for inquiry-based learning and visible thinking routines is still ongoing. We have already made available a wide range of resources and technology to students to cultivate knowledge and learning, but there is always room to improve and we are excited to continue this journey.

Attending the IB Professional Development workshop has transformed my thinking processes and strengthened our school community.

A session about academic honesty for our MYP students

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