Francis W. Parker School

The Live Creature - Spring 2015

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e Live Creature x 31 "It's a unique process," commented Lesak. "Before even drawing up plans, we hope to facilitate workshops with faculty, parents and students to consider the future of the library space through a design thinking process. We might incorporate nontraditional elements like a test kitchen or a garden, ways to encourage creativity and curiosity." Coleman and Lesak have hit the ground running, beginning with establishing social media accounts to promote the library. ey have also begun arranging Skype sessions between authors and students. "Skype is great for letting students interact with authors and illustrators, even if they're on the other side of the country," said Coleman. "It helps them get excited about reading and writing, supporting the curriculum and reading for enjoyment." And there is more work incorporating technology, including Overdrive, an ebook service, and Destiny, a new online catalog that allows one to search from anywhere, not just within the library itself. "We're in the final stages of creating a library app that will work across platforms and put all our resources in one place for faculty, students and parents, including the catalog, database, calendar, ebooks and social media," Coleman described. ey are also updating the collection, eliminating outdated material that is accessible online. "We want our resources to be format-neutral, providing access to the best source of information on a topic regardless of whether it's print or digital." Lesak and Coleman give credit to Library Assistants Branka Steinbaugh and Lupe Colin for their smooth transition since arriving at Parker. "Branka provides valuable continuity, having been here for 15 years, and Lupe, who's also new, is in graduate school and offering a great perspective." Beyond the physical changes, Coleman considers the impact of the library on teaching and learning. "Critical thinking skills are essential in education. What's the point of acquiring the information? What will you do with it? How does it connect to your life?" Taking that idea to another level, Lesak talks about the key role empathy plays in the TIDES approach. "It's essential to be able to put yourself in someone else's shoes. How are we connecting with other human beings, issues, broadening our scope?" Coleman added, "Holding onto that empathy—how am I contributing to the world, how does that affect others—is essential to having a positive impact on the world, no matter what they do aer Parker in terms of career or where they choose to live." "We ask students to consider, 'How will you become a creator of information yourself ? What will you contribute to the world with this information?'"

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