CITY OF CANTERBURY LIBRARY LEARNING FRAMEWORK
FORWARD It is my great pleasure to present the City of Canterbury Library Learning Framework: Astonish, Inspire, Dream. This framework will assist our Library to develop innovative and relevant programs for our community using best practices and continuously evolving to meet the challenges of our rapidly changing times. Learning is important for the wellbeing of our community; it can increase personal fulfilment and reduce social isolation, not to mention increase employability and provide connections with others. Our libraries are in an excellent position to provide learning opportunities for our community. With over 700,000 visits per year across our four Branches, our Libraries are community hubs where people of all ages participate in learning from technology classes, to borrowing Books, eBooks and tablets. Our library service is recognised as a world leader in many of its services and programs. The library learning framework sets out a future where the library can continue to innovate and lead. The development of this document included extensive community consultation with our community as well as key partners who work in Canterbury. It took 12 months to complete. This is as much your framework as it is the Libraryâ€™s, and we are proud of its content and excited about the way forward. The Framework encourages us to imagine a world where we work together to create a learning community using the talent and aspirations of people who live and work in our city. Together we can create an inspiring and brilliant future. The City of Canterbury Library Learning Framework: Astonish, Inspire, Dream is part of our ongoing commitment towards making the City of Canterbury a great place to live and work. Cr Brian Robson Mayor, City of Canterbury
CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Learning Framework INTRODUCTION Overview Challenges Opportunities Libraries
4 5 6 6 6 6 6
LEARNING FRAMEWORK Four learning frames Learning objectives
15 15 15
LEARNING FRAMEWORK IN ACTION
1: LEARNING TO LEARN
2: LEARNING TO CONNECT
LIBRARY PARTICIPATION Library Learning Framework
3: LEARNING TO IMAGINE
4: LEARNING FOR LIFE
LEARNING TRENDS 1. Demand for independent, self directed learning will increase 2. Online learning options will get better â€“ cheaper, more convenient, credible 3. Hybrid and connected learning options 4. Global uncertainty/ local potential 5. Contemporary trends in public library design and services affect perceptions of all libraries
9 10 11 11
THE RIGHT CONDITIONS Library spaces Capital funding Partnerships Skilled library staff
12 12 12 12 13
STOP, START, KEEP
Great wonder or surprise...
To influence, move or guide...
A creation of the imagination... 3
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY THE CITY OF CANTERBURY IS ONE OF THE MOST CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS IN AUSTRALIA. OVER 70 PER CENT OF RESIDENTS SPEAK A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH AT HOME, AND 58 PER CENT WERE BORN OVERSEAS.
LEARNING IN CANTERBURY The City of Canterbury is home to approximately 150,000 residents, with an average of 2,000 new residents being born in or moving to Canterbury each year. Over 70 per cent of residents speak a language other than English at home, and around 58 per cent were born overseas. There are numerous state and private schools across the city, but no universities or TAFE colleges. While there are excellent community-based informal learning programs and opportunities available, the potential to enhance and extend these opportunities could be further developed through partnerships, shared marketing, additional learning spaces and new ideas. The City of Canterbury has a vibrant library service comprising four libraries located in Campsie, Earlwood, Riverwood and Lakemba.
Library Learning Potential This Learning Framework is designed specifically for the library service however its vision, objectives and actions reach out to and connect with all of the city’ s current learning sites, initiatives and programs. The Learning Framework is designed to support and complement the library’s operational, building renewal and staff development plans. Most of all, it is designed to inspire and encourage people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and talents to pursue their interests, share their learning, improve their prospects, build a sense of community, and enhance their capacity to become lifelong lovers of learning.
CITY OF CANTERBURY Library Learning Framework
Research and consultation Research for the City of Canterbury Library Learning Framework took place throughout 2014. It involved: > workshops with library and capacity development team members; > interviews with library staff members, residents, community groups, and community service representatives in Lakemba, Riverwood, Earlwood and Campsie; > interviews with library users and non users; > study field trips to comparable inner Sydney library services; > online research and extensive literature review. The consultation process yielded a range of different responses. On the positive side, there is widespread support for and trust in Canterbury’s libraries. Library staff are perceived to be highly motivated, with strong links to the community. People were positive about City of Canterbury and its priorities. There is also a high level of aspiration for educational opportunity amongst community members. When it comes to learning, Canterbury residents expressed preference for a more casual, interactive mode of learning that meets specific and immediate needs. Equal access to available learning opportunities was extremely important. Some residents, even those who are regular library users, exhibited a lack of awareness about the full range of learning programs and opportunities provided by Canterbury libraries. Asked about their local library experience, Earlwood, Lakemba and Riverwood residents perceived their libraries as too small to meet current and future demand. Community services representatives, library staff and Capacity Development personnel suggested new modes of partnership as a way to expand learning options and share critical and sometimes limited resources.
CANTERBURY’S LIBRARY SERVICE HAS THE SPACES, INFORMATION, TECHNOLOGY AND SKILLS TO MEDIATE NEW FORMS OF 21ST CENTURY LEARNING.
The right conditions
The City of Canterbury Library Learning Framework presents four frames through which learning objectives and initiatives will be tested, refined, expanded and adapted over the next five years (2015-2020). The learning framework provides focus for the library and is aligned with existing strategies and plans. The learning frames are:
> the availability of sufficient capital funding to invest in the above, and to secure the technology and expertise required for new learning initiatives;
THE CITY OF CANTERBURY > learning to learn LIBRARY LEARNING > learning to connect FRAMEWORK IS AMBITIOUS, > learning to imagine PARTNERSHIP-ORIENTED, > learning for life IMAGINATIVE AND FRESH. Four frames
Each frame includes activities, programs and initiatives designed to foster learning across the city. Setting objectives and designing a plan of action is an important first step in activating the library’s learning vision. However, the social, political and economic climate in which such actions take place can be infused with uncertainty and unpredictability. An important step in bringing the learning framework to life will be to identify the conditions that need to be in place for the learning framework to succeed. While there are many variables that influence the library’s vision and plans, a number of preconditions have been identified. A precondition is a factor which, when present, allows or enables our objectives to be advanced. It can be influenced but not always controlled.
Four factors will be critical: > the availability of well designed library buildings and spaces;
> the capacity to nurture solid partnerships with volunteers, community groups and local businesses in order to extend learning possibilities within and outside the city’s four library buildings; > skilled library staff capable of teaching and facilitating the range of learning options proposed.
Propositions for the future Canterbury’s library service has the spaces, information, technology and skills to mediate and deliver new forms of 21st century learning. This learning is needed to ensure viable employment, create sustainable communities, bridge differences, encourage creative expression, bring pleasure and hope, and explore the big questions that underpin the city’s future success. A productive community flourishes when people, businesses and services work together to produce what they could never do alone. Consequently, the City of Canterbury Library Learning Framework is ambitious, partnership-oriented, imaginative and fresh.
The City of Canterbury is a large local government area of 3,356 hectares located in the southwest of Sydney, Australia’s largest capital city. There are approximately 150,000 residents, with an average of 2,000 new residents being born in or moving to Canterbury each year. Originally inhabited by Aboriginal communities from the Bediagal people of the Dharug nation, Canterbury is now one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse local government areas in Australia. Over 70 per cent of residents speak a language other than English at home, and 58 per cent were born overseas. In addition, Canterbury has a significant number of newly arrived migrants and refugees seeking asylum in Australia.
While certain suburbs within the city could be described as aspirational and middle class, other suburbs contain pockets of high unemployment and significant disadvantage. This is compounded by the fact that Sydney is one of the world’s most expensive cities. Property prices continue to soar; rental accommodation is expensive and in short supply (6,10, 11, 13).* Despite its size and complexity, Canterbury has no formal tertiary educational institutions within its borders. It has few medium to large manufacturing industries. It has unevenly distributed entertainment options, with the closest cinema complexes at Beverly Hills and Burwood outside its borders.
Canterbury contains many natural and human assets. Recent regeneration efforts have rescued the Cooks River from industrial pollution, offering residents new leisure and recreation amenities. Canterbury suburbs are connected by regular rail and bus services. Community facilities, such as halls, senior citizens’ centres, social services, and the city’s four libraries are well distributed. Various ethnic community groups and meeting places are thriving, either as standalone centres or as functioning groups within existing community facilities and programs.
The City of Canterbury Library Service comprises four libraries. The largest library is located within a shopping complex in the suburb of Campsie. Smaller libraries are located at Earlwood, Lakemba and Riverwood. In the case of Riverwood, a new purpose-built library is being constructed as part of a major residential development adjacent to Salt Pan Creek. The Campsie Library will also be refurbished during 2015/16 (12).
CITY OF CANTERBURY Library Learning Framework
* Endnotes are used throughout this report to reference publications used as sources of information. For further detail, see Bibliography.
LIBRARY PARTICIPATION PEOPLE ACCESS LIBRARIES IN DIFFERENT WAYS. THEY ARE DOING MORE AND MORE THINGS IN LIBRARIES, INCLUDING A LARGE NUMBER AND RANGE OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES.
LIBRARY LEARNING FRAMEWORK Participation in each of the four libraries reflects different waves of migration and settlement in Sydney. Apart from AngloCeltic residents in each of these suburbs, Campsie has a large Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese population; Lakemba has become a centre for Lebanese and Bangladeshi migrants; Earlwood has well settled Greek and Italian populations; and Riverwood has a strong Chinese presence. Library collections, programs and usage reflect the composition of each locale. Around 700,000 visits to our libraries are recorded each year. E-services and collections are growing in popularity, with approximately 1,000,000 articles downloaded in the past year (2013/14). Between 2013 and 2014, the library service hosted 2,011 learning-related programs. Delivery of these programs was made possible though a range of partnerships with volunteers and community-based organisations.
Canterbury’s learning programs
In addition, City of Canterbury has a Capacity Development team that delivers a range of projects and initiatives across the areas of disability, older people, young people, community partnerships and multicultural services (10, 11, 13).
Research for the City of Canterbury Library Learning Framework took place throughout 2014. It involved:
While many library learning programs attract high numbers and positive feedback, others have languished with small attendance figures. The purpose of the City of Canterbury Library Learning Framework is to: > review existing library learning programs, activities and platforms; > consult with community members about learning needs; > consult with community-based organisations and services about potential partnerships and the sharing of resources; > develop closer linkages between the library’s learning programs and learning initiatives sponsored by the Capacity Development team; > design a learning framework that provides Canterbury’s residents with an optimistic, practical and forwardlooking vision for the future.
> two workshops with library and capacity development team members; > interviews with library staff members, residents, community groups, and community service representatives in Lakemba, Riverwood, Earlwood and Campsie; > interviews with library users and non users, including intercept interviews obtained at two refugee forums at Earlwood and Riverwood, an International Women’s Day event in Campsie, and the Campsie Food Festival; > study field trips to three comparable library services – Ryde, Randwick and Fairfield – and a review of library learning strategies from other Australian cities and libraries; > online research and literature review. Residents consulted for this Library Learning Framework are generally positive about living in Canterbury and realistic about the range of Council services available.
Consultation themes The recurrent themes to emerge from the consultation process are as follows: > widespread support for and trust in Canterburyâ€™s libraries; > high levels of aspiration for educational opportunity amongst community members; > highly motivated library staff with strong links to the community; > positive views about City of Canterbury as a whole; > Earlwood, Lakemba and Riverwood libraries are perceived as too small to meet current and future demand; > lack of awareness about the full range of programs and opportunities provided by Canterbury libraries; > the importance of equal access to available learning opportunities was consistently reinforced; > preference for a more casual, interactive mode of learning that meets specific and immediate needs; > under-utilised library partnership potential across the city.
CITY OF CANTERBURY Library Learning Framework
LEARNING TRENDS THIS SECTION DESCRIBES FIVE TRENDS WHICH WILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON LEARNING POSSIBILITIES, OPTIONS AND OFFERINGS OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. THESE TRENDS ARE DERIVED FROM A COMPREHENSIVE LITERATURE SEARCH, REFERENCE TO THE CITYâ€™S OWN RESEARCH AND POLICY PAPERS, AND SPECIFIC LIBRARY-RELATED STUDIES UNDERTAKEN BY AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL LIBRARY SCHOLARS.
1. DEMAND FOR INDEPENDENT, SELF DIRECTED LEARNING WILL INCREASE
2. ONLINE LEARNING OPTIONS WILL GET BETTER â€“ CHEAPER, MORE CONVENIENT, CREDIBLE
Motivation plays an important role in learning, and aligning learning styles with modes of delivery will be a defining feature of formal and informal learning platforms in the future. Engaging young learners, particularly those who have become disenfranchised from traditional education, will be enhanced by integrating interactive games and digital media into school and extracurricular learning activities. Literacy is critical to learning and employment, and new ways are being found to design language learning methods and delivery platforms. Creative thinking and collaborative problemsolving will become essential skills for employment, business innovation and civic reinvention. Libraries are attractive learning spaces for children and adults. They sit outside traditional learning institutions and are perceived as neutral, welcoming and safe. A deeper understanding of how library learning spaces and offerings can complement school, university and vocational education, and in addition to non-structured and serendipitous learning, will deliver individual and collective benefits (1, 2, 5, 8, 18, 26, 27, 29, 39, 42).
Australia has had high levels of participation in tertiary education since the 1970s. As the cost of higher education continues to rise, and the university sector faces further deregulation, student debt is likely to increase. Competition for available scholarships will intensify. Barriers to access for prospective students from lower socio economic backgrounds may arise. The availability of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) signifies potential change within the higher education sector. MOOCs and other online learning programs are available to people of all ages, backgrounds and interests. A computer and an internet connection are all that are theoretically needed. Criticism of MOOCs centres on their high rates of non-completion. Recent research indicates that completion rates can be improved by supporting students to develop more effective research skills, combined with the capacity to nurture a sense of community or belonging. MOOCs, in their current form, are also criticised for attempting to replicate traditional modes of learning in an online environment. Some say that the innovative learning potential of MOOCs does not go far enough. Online education should not only provide new distribution and access alternatives, they should also challenge traditional educational pedagogy (33, 43). While MOOCs and other open learning platforms pose some challenges to university libraries, they may represent an upside for public libraries. Public libraries can support online learning options in numerous ways. Libraries provide spaces in which students can study together or alone, and learners have access to the research skills of competent librarians.
Libraries provide free wifi, dedicated study spaces, and a convivial atmosphere. Public libraries are often located in closer proximity to a student’s home than a university library, turning easy access into an incentive for sociallyembedded learning. Some public libraries already offer comprehensive research and support programs to assist online students (37), indicating that a focus on learning support combined with the right platforms and staff expertise can aggregate learning opportunities across a broader learning landscape. Whatever the contemporary limitations of current online learning options, they will certainly change over the next decade. Interactivity and the quality of user experience will improve; they will become credible alternatives to other higher education and learning options; and their convenience will appeal to new generations of learners. Convenience and cost are not the only criteria for successful learning outcomes. Learning is a social experience as well, and public libraries offer a unique proposition in this regard (2, 5, 8, 24, 26, 39, 55).
CITY OF CANTERBURY Library Learning Framework
3. HYBRID AND CONNECTED LEARNING OPTIONS The virtual and the physical are no longer polar opposites. We live in a hybrid world, and the participatory programming initiatives currently occurring in public libraries are indicative of this trend. As online experiences continue to take up more of our time and consciousness, physical interaction and tactile immersion offer a necessary counterbalance – a refuge from the screen. Blended learning incorporates the digital and analog in new ways. Rich and stimulating spaces, like contemporary public libraries, allow people to flip from one mode of learning to another; and this capacity can enhance creativity and help embed learning (26, 29, 30, 34, 44, 45, 49). People are currently meeting in public libraries to: > learn a craft; > exhibit craft and artworks; > join a book club; > attend a storytelling event (all ages); > make things; > attend a digital clinic to problem solve and learn more about digital devices; > make and record music; > research their latest hobby and/or new business idea – from gardening to fashion to jewellery design. People often visit a library with a clear purpose in mind, but when they are there other things may attract their attention.
4. GLOBAL UNCERTAINTY/LOCAL POTENTIAL In an interconnected world, no country is immune from the impacts of global instability. There is instability of climate, economic and financial systems, social cohesion, agriculture, energy, water, and political regimes. Australia faces change on a number of fronts. Energy prices, it is predicted, will continue to rise; water shortages may persist and/or worsen. Youth unemployment is impacted by major structural adjustments occurring in manufacturing, mining and service industries. People are already seeking local solutions in the form of solar energy generation, food production, exchanging/recycling resources, entertainment, social enterprises, microbusiness generation, telecommunications, and skill sharing. Some urban and regional communities will successfully harness the skills and optimism of refugees and recent arrivals to fuel business growth and revitalise community life. Public libraries provide meeting spaces, knowledge hubs and idea generation hot spots for all of the above. Public libraries will increasingly symbolise a physical and metaphorical crossroad for cultural exchange and civic engagement (5, 20, 21, 25, 28, 29, 35, 46, 52, 55).
5. CONTEMPORARY TRENDS IN PUBLIC LIBRARY DESIGN AND SERVICES AFFECT PERCEPTIONS OF ALL LIBRARIES Civic decision-makers, in urban and regional centres throughout Australia, have found that investing in flexible library buildings and spaces can deliver substantial rewards for their communities. Usage and visitation figures soar; a sense of place is enhanced; new forms of civic interaction are stimulated; and people of all ages rediscover libraries as places of culture, learning, enterprise and retreat. The renaissance in public library design has created award-winning library design solutions in Australia and internationally, and has shown that flexibility in space design encourages new forms of multi modal learning. Flexible spaces enable libraries to offer more adventurous programming options. Contemporary furnishings, shelving and equipment have symbolic and practical import. They broadcast a message of contemporaneity; an invitation to participate, to explore, and to learn in an explicitly non-commercial public place. While people may know little about architecture and design, they do know what works for them. Library users are not confined to their local government area; they can now borrow from and use library services in adjacent local government areas. A number of Australian states have introduced, or intend to introduce, a onelibrary card system, allowing people to borrow from any library across their state. As boundaries are relaxed, people will choose library services that meet their information, social and aesthetic needs. Failure to invest in contemporary library spaces will see a diminution in library usage, as well as a narrowing of the user base (22, 28, 31, 32, 45, 54, 57). Recognising, adapting to, and taking advantage of these trends will be required in order to realise the City of Canterbury Library Learning Framework.
THE RIGHT CONDITIONS WHILE THE LEARNING FRAMEWORK WILL HELP GUIDE DECISION-MAKING AND ACTION FOR THE LIBRARY SERVICE, AN UNCERTAIN WORLD WITH SHIFTING AND SOMETIMES VOLATILE BACKGROUND INFLUENCES WILL INEVITABLY SHAPE THE BREADTH AND DEPTH OF THE FRAMEWORK IN ACTION. SOME OF THE LEARNING OPTIONS AVAILABLE CAN BE ACTIVATED IMMEDIATELY; SOME ARE MEDIUM TERM STRATEGIES OVER WHICH WE HAVE MODERATE CONTROL; OTHERS ARE OUTSIDE OUR IMMEDIATE CONTROL AND REQUIRE CERTAIN CONDITIONS TO EXIST.
There are a number of factors which, when present, allow or enable our objectives to be advanced. These factors can be influenced but not always controlled. Four factors have been identified in this research. They are: library spaces; capital funding; partnerships; and skilled library staff.
LIBRARY SPACES Flexible library spaces are critical and potentially enabling. Contemporary public library design now accommodates multiple community needs, and has seeded new uses and perceptions of libraries (22, 32, 45). The new purposebuilt Riverwood Library presents an opportunity to experiment with different learning programs and partnerships. Its location and projected interior design will help instil a sense of place for the Riverwood community, and become a learning hub for residents. The other three Canterbury libraries – Campsie, Lakemba and Earlwood – will need substantial renovation over the next few years. Renovation is more affordable than building anew, but nevertheless requires significant capital investment (see below). This investment will be needed to allow the learning framework to flourish.
CITY OF CANTERBURY Library Learning Framework
There are other opportunities available to the library service outside the four bricks and mortar library buildings currently in place. These opportunities involve running library learning programs in other community spaces; creating ephemeral ‘pop-up’ libraries in places where people congregate and socialise; and harnessing the increasing power and sophistication of online learning ‘spaces’ (3, 4, 15, 26, 40).
CAPITAL FUNDING When everyone is trying to do more with less, it may seem counter-intuitive for local government decision-makers to invest in beautiful library buildings at a time when roads, parks and other community centres are also crying out for attention. Local governments who have built and/or renovated library buildings, even when the design was initially controversial, have never regretted it (27, 32, 49). Libraries represent a substantial return on investment – financially, socially and culturally (36, 46, 47, 51, 52, 53). The learning framework will need to align with the library service’s broader operational and strategic goals. The redesign of interior library spaces can be done incrementally, and supplemented by grant funding from a number of sources. Some programs will require specialist skills and equipment. Grant
and sponsorship funding can be obtained for these discrete programs. Alternative funding options, such as civic crowd funding, should be explored for one-off projects capable of capturing the imagination of small community investors. Examples include equipment for a digital media lab, 3-D printers, targeted youth programs to produce a local history app and/or augmented reality history tour, digital and visual arts initiatives using the library’s collections and spaces. The purpose of these new initiatives is to offer learning opportunities and skills to Canterbury’s residents that are equal to anything being offered via library services anywhere in Australia and the world. This requires capital, but imagination and ambition are just as important.
PARTNERSHIPS Public libraries represent an attractive proposition to prospective partners. They have a range of physical spaces; they attract a diverse mix of people, probably broader than any other community or cultural institution; they engender positive associations and are perceived as trustworthy and safe; they have highly skilled staff, capable of turning their hands to almost anything. These are important cultural assets and we should feel confident about their worth in the community.
Compared to other metropolitan library services, Canterbury could do more to nurture productive partnerships. The learning framework will require partnerships with community-based services, tertiary institutions, community education programs, small businesses, and volunteers of all ages. Until momentum and reputation builds, Canterbury library staff will need to be proactive and diligent in building these learning partnerships. This will require time, patience and skill (2, 4, 16, 35).
SKILLED LIBRARY STAFF Library staff skill sets have changed over the last decade. Many public library services now recruit and/or partner with marketing and media specialists; social and youth workers; graphic designers; digital trainers and troubleshooters; fundraising experts; cultural and IT programmers; storytellers and performers. In some cases, library professionals have developed skills in these areas. Partnerships and outsourcing arrangements have complemented in-house library skills.
The success of the learning framework will require two important skills: outreach and promotion. A dedicated outreach position will be needed to build a stable volunteer corps, seek and oversee learning partnership arrangements, and explore sponsorship/ grant funding options. Promotion needs to be inventive and unflagging. People consulted in the field research were often surprised about the range of library programs on offer and perplexed at what they perceived to be a lack of promotion. This perception is not confined to Canterbury Library Service, but widespread across Australia. Public libraries need to find new ways to promote what they do, and to be consistent in doing so. (31, 49, 50).
STOP, START, KEEP CERTAIN ACTIONS WILL NEED TO BE TAKEN IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THE LEARNING FRAMEWORK OBJECTIVES.
STOP The library service will need to stop providing learning programs that currently attract small and erratic audience participation.
START It will need start new programs, partnerships and services that take advantage of learning trends, are capable of attracting new participants, and can help make connections between the many learning opportunities that populate the city.
KEEP It will need to keep, strengthen, and, in some cases, reinvent learning programs that are highly valued by library users.
CITY OF CANTERBURY Library Learning Framework
LEARNING FRAMEWORK THE CITY OF CANTERBURY LIBRARY LEARNING FRAMEWORK PRESENTS AN AMBITIOUS VISION FOR THE RESIDENTS OF CANTERBURY. IT IS AMBITIOUS BECAUSE IT FRAMES EVERYTHING THAT COULD CURRENTLY BE DESCRIBED AS LEARNING RELATED, AND EVERYTHING THAT COULD BE DONE TO STIMULATE FURTHER LEARNING IN CANTERBURY, AS POTENTIALLY INTERCONNECTED.
LEARN IMAGINE CONNECT LIFE
FOUR LEARNING FRAMES
Of course, there are many real and perceived barriers to this vision: funding and accountability arrangements; cultural differences and tensions; inadequate resources and learning spaces; narrow thinking and fear of change. The learning framework asks the people of Canterbury to imagine a future where these barriers do not appear overwhelming. A future where the inherent goodwill, aspiration and talent of our residents can be harnessed to complement and extend the learning opportunities available to all. The City of Canterbury Library Service can play a key role in realising this ambition. It already plays a key role in supporting learning of all kinds. Our libraries, however, cannot do everything. They can’t and shouldn’t replace primary and secondary schooling, technical and higher education, social services, literacy and English language skills development, early learning and community education. Yet, they play a positive role in all these learning spheres. The following section presents four frames that will help our library service concentrate its focus and efforts over the next five years. The learning frames are: learning to learn; learning to connect; learning to imagine; and learning for life.
1 To support new modes, techniques and places through which Canterbury’s residents can access literacy and English language initiatives 2 To invite Canterbury’s residents to celebrate reading, storytelling and story making (in English and community languages) across multiple platforms and media 3 To support digital literacy and online learning for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Learning to learn
Learning to connect 1 To create dynamic spaces and programs in which community connections can flourish – between people, between generations, between ideas and their application to real world challenges, between the present and the past 2 To create spaces and programs which catalyse new learning partnerships 3 To provide free spaces and platforms within which people can exchange skills, information and resources.
Learning to imagine 1 To become a source of inspiration for creative expression and serious play 2 To cultivate new modes of idea generation and collaboration 3 To become a learning hub for enterprise and creative problem-solving.
Learning for life 1 To promote and support self directed learning 2 To become a trusted cultural hub in which all residents feel welcome to pursue their interests 3 To support individual and collective efforts to improve health, well-being, sustainability and avenues for dignified work. Each learning frame includes activities, programs and initiatives which will foster formal and informal learning across the city.
LEARNING FRAMEWORK IN ACTION THE FOLLOWING SECTION PRESENTS A RANGE OF ACTIVITIES ACROSS THE FOUR LEARNING FRAMES. THE LIBRARY’S EXISTING LEARNING PROGRAMS WILL BE REVIEWED AND RENEWED. EXPERIMENTING WITH NEW PROGRAMS AND IDEAS WILL BE NEEDED TO ADDRESS THE LEARNING TRENDS MENTIONED ABOVE. THE LANGUAGE USED IS DESIGNED TO PROJECT AN ENTICING PROPOSITION TO CURRENT LIBRARY USERS, PROSPECTIVE PARTICIPANTS AND POTENTIAL COMMUNITY PARTNERS.
CITY OF CANTERBURY Library Learning Framework
1: LEARNING TO LEARN WE NEED A RANGE OF LEARNING SKILLS IN THE 21ST CENTURY TO NAVIGATE EDUCATION, WORK, AND THE HYBRID WORLDS IN WHICH WE NOW LIVE. LITERACY, STUDY AND RESEARCH SKILLS, MEDIA TOOLS, COLLABORATIVE SHARING, AND DIGITAL FLUENCY WILL BE CRITICAL.
The City of Canterbury Library currently supports learning to learn by offering: > Adult literacy and English language programs > Dig it All – perplexed by your device? We can sort it out in our drop-in digital hub for seniors > Your Tutor and Homework Help > Book a librarian – make a research date with a librarian, no strings attached. We plan to keep and improve all of the above. We will also be investigating the possibility of: > MOOC mentors – no need to learn in isolation, we’ve got the resources, spaces and research help you need > Code makers – learning basic programming codes will set you up forever > Digital lab – learn to create an online game, app, website, presentation or movie > Pop-up coffee/chai library learning cart – you never know where we’ll pop up next.
2: LEARNING TO CONNECT THE CANTERBURY COMMUNITY IS DIVERSE, CULTURALLY RICH, AND INCREASINGLY POPULOUS. THERE ARE CHALLENGES, AS WELL AS ENORMOUS POTENTIAL.
The City of Canterbury Library strengthens community connections through: > Canterbury Commons – your local history and online portal > Festivals, arts and sustainability programs – we link our programs to all community events > Cultural food and storytelling events
COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS CAN BE FACILITATED THROUGH SHARING SPACES AND RESOURCES, AND DOING THINGS TOGETHER. WE NEED TO FIND WAYS TO ALLOW DIFFERENCES TO BECOME A SOURCE OF CURIOSITY RATHER THAN AN EXCUSE TO TURN OUR BACKS ON EACH OTHER.
> Greening Canterbury – want to be a better gardener? We can help. We plan to keep and improve all of the above programs. We will also be exploring the following options: > Adopt an elder/adopt a teen – exchange skills with someone who wants to learn > Book/TV chat - deepen your insights by discussing a book or TV series with others > Pop-up coffee/chai library learning cart /little free libraries – you never know where we’ll pop up next.
CITY OF CANTERBURY Library Learning Framework
3: LEARNING TO IMAGINE WHAT KIND OF FUTURE DO WE WANT AS INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, BUSINESSES, PRECINCTS AND GLOBALLY CONNECTED COMMUNITIES? BRAIN HEALTH, PERSONAL FULFILMENT, COLLECTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING AND ENTREPRENEURIAL INITIATIVE ARE ALL SAID TO BENEFIT FROM CREATIVE ENDEAVOURS. EVERYONE CAN BE CREATIVE, BUT WE NEED NEW WAYS AND PLACES TO TURN CREATIVE EXPRESSION INTO POSITIVE CHANGE.
The City of Canterbury Library service supports imagination and creativity by providing: > Storytelling and reading programs – learning to imagine for all ages > Story craft, cartooning, graphic novels and manga clubs and learning seminars – become a story maker > Refuge from the screen – maker spaces, have-a-yarn, craft clubs, learning seminars, and music making. We plan to keep and extend all of the above programs. We will also be investigating the possibility of: > Digital media lab – learn to create an online game, app, website, presentation or movie > Bright Spark – new ideas and connections for entrepreneurs and social enterprises; > Challenging Canterbury – listen, discuss and explore Ideas4change.
4: LEARNING FOR LIFE LEARNING CHANGES OVER TIME AND MEANS DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. ALTHOUGH WE’RE ALL DIFFERENT, WHAT UNITES US IS THE FACT THAT WE’RE ALSO ALL LIVING TOGETHER – IN A STREET, IN A NEIGHBOURHOOD, IN A SUBURB, IN A STATE, IN AUSTRALIA. OUR LIBRARIES ARE COMMUNITY SPACES IN WHICH WE CAN SHARE KNOWLEDGE AND PLAN CONSTRUCTIVE ACTION.
At the library, there are lots of ways to get involved. We plan to build on our current learning for life programs and activities such as: > Health and well being seminars and activities – get healthy and stay healthy > Digital Life Skills – there are no wrong questions here. We will also be exploring the following options: > Philosophy4Kids – it’s never too early to tackle the big questions > Green skills – e.g. urban beehives, organic gardening, renewable energy production > Consumer smart – independent research and insights for the savvy consumer.
CITY OF CANTERBURY Library Learning Framework
CONCLUSION THE CITY OF CANTERBURY LIBRARY LEARNING FRAMEWORK PRESENTS AN AMBITIOUS VISION FOR THE PEOPLE OF CANTERBURY. THE VISION HAS ITS SOURCE IN THE STORIES AND HOPES EXPRESSED DURING THE PROJECT’S COMMUNITY CONSULTATION PHASE.
The Learning Framework offers four frames through which learning activities can be considered. These frames provide library staff with a cohesive learning framework within which resource allocation and programming decisions can be made. The frames are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. Success in one frame has a positive impact on all. For example, participation in a learning for life activity can stimulate interest in gaining deeper subject knowledge or accreditation. If a young adult experiences learning as social and interest-driven, it can complement more structured learning experiences and encourage learning as a way of life. Learning to imagine has a direct impact on self expression, vitality and even work/business success. It can also cultivate a desire to become a more active community member. There are many steps and connections needed to realise the library’s learning vision. A spirit of experimentation combined with regular review will support the City of Canterbury Library Service to achieve its ultimate goal – being responsive to the community’s learning needs during a period of heightened change and collective challenge.
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CITY OF CANTERBURY Library Learning Framework
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Thanks to staff from the City of Canterbury Library Service and the City Council’s Capacity Development Team. Thanks to all the residents and community organisations who contributed to this study. Research and consultation: www.projectsisu.com Design: www.probono.com.au
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