#10: Why personalized learning should start in school libraries

Library experts discuss 6 specific ways libraries can best leverage personalized learning for every student.

4. Libraries can host real-world communication

New Canaan High School Library also participates in monthly virtual book clubs in which students discuss books over a Google Hangout, and different libraries take turns hosting the chat and leading the conversation each month.

5. Libraries can harness personalization through online tools

According to the presenters, libraries can personalize learning for students through the use of online tools. Using the free resource Mackin Classroom, students can choose resources, highlight sections, take notes, rate resources, and more. New Canaan High School also has a search feature on the library’s home page where students can search for resources from a number of databases and get alerts for new sources.

6. Libraries can be makerspaces

Lastly, personalized learning is encouraged within school libraries through making. In the library’s makerspace, students have the ability to choose what they want to create using a variety of resources; the students’ work is then showcased on the library’s’ Instagram as a way to demonstrate the effort that comes out of the makerspace.

Ultimately, personalizing instruction through the library is a “PR thing,” said Luhtala. School libraries must emphasize with faculty and administrators the crucial role that the library plays in this growing initiative.

Join the Community

Emerging Tech is a free professional learning community (PLC) where school librarians can explore all the ways to integrate technology and 21st century learning into school library programs. Members can post questions, start discussions, and get feedback from experts and peers on the issues and challenges of building and advocating for a school library program that is a critical support for teaching and learning in your school and district.

The recording of the webinar can be viewed by anyone at:

About the Presenter

Michelle Luhtala is the Library Department Chair at New Canaan High School in Connecticut and was one of five school librarians named as a “Mover and Shaker” by Library Journal in 2015. She is the winner of the 2011 “I Love My Librarian” Award and the Library Association’s 2010 Outstanding Librarian Award. The New Canaan High School Library won AASL’s National School Library Program of the year in 2010. Follow her on Twitter @mluhtala.

[Editor’s note: This piece is original content produced by View more events here.]

Meris Stansbury

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