ConnectedLib white paper promotes connected learning in libraries

UW Information School researchers and their partners have released a white paper focused on the best ways to promote connected learning and 21st century skills in libraries.

The white paper provides examples of connected learning in libraries, discusses opportunities and challenges associated with introducing connected learning in diverse library settings, and reviews existing resources for public librarians who wish to implement connected learning principles in their youth programming. The white paper also describes how the ConnectedLib project is addressing gaps in the existing connected learning research and resources for libraries.

Developed by Mimi Ito and members of the Connected Learning Research Network, the connected learning framework emphasizes creative and social learning experiences that are driven by learners’ personal interests. The framework’s core principles include learning contexts that are peer supported, interest powered, and academically oriented along with experiences that are production centered, openly networked, and bring together learners and adults around a shared purpose. The “connected” in connected learning refers to connecting in-school and out-of-school learning, connecting interests to opportunities, and connecting the learner to peers and mentors.

With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Con­nect­edLib is help­ing librar­i­ans incor­po­rate dig­i­tal media into their work with youth to pro­mote con­nec­tions across learn­ing con­texts. Fac­ulty mem­bers from the library and infor­ma­tion sci­ence schools at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton (Assistant Professor Katie Davis) and Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land (Associate Professor Mega Subramaniam) are team­ing with pub­lic libraries to cre­ate pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment resources that sup­port librar­i­ans in their efforts to lever­age new media tech­nolo­gies and pro­mote youth’s con­nected learn­ing expe­ri­ences in libraries. The pub­lic library part­ners — Providence Public Library, Seattle Public Library, and Kitsap Regional Library — serve a vari­ety of tra­di­tion­ally under­served youth pop­u­la­tions, includ­ing rural, immi­grant, and low-income youth.

Read the white paper, or learn more about the ConnectedLib project.