Friday, 5 October 2012

The new information environments in schools – a British perspective

an article by Andrew K. Shenton (Independent consultant) published in IFLA Journal Volume 38 Number 3 (October 2012)


The nature of the learning resource areas found in Britain’s schools has changed dramatically in the last decade and a half.

Traditional libraries, based around a centralised collection of books, are becoming increasingly uncommon and have been replaced in many institutions by more computer-oriented ‘study centres’.

These quite different environments have provoked controversy in several quarters and pose a range of challenges to those who manage them. Although some of the emergent issues are far from new and, indeed, have been debated in library circles for decades, others are more particular to study centres.

This paper explores in some detail a dozen matters, highlighting dilemmas and, on occasion, possible solutions.

The questions posed are fundamental and diverse, relating to such varied aspects as the physical environment itself, the virtual world to which the study centre offers access, the role of traditional materials, the functions of staff responsible for the facility and the purposes for which the area should be used.

Full text (PDF of whole journal - this article starts at page 228)

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