Changing Lives through Informal Learning


The dominant view is that school library programs will cease to exist if their impact on test scores is not demonstrated. But does that imply our job of impacting student learning is restricted to these outcomes? Does it mean we cannot (and should not) consider the benefits of informal learning and support students who want connected learning? Students yearn to connect their interests, needs, and cultures to every aspect of their daily lives, and seek safe and supportive environments where they can discover and make such connections. School libraries may be the only site where disadvantaged students, who lack the luxury of participating in enrichment after-school programs, can hang out, mess around and “geek out”, and explore their interests and passion. This presentation advocates that school library programs look beyond formal education measures to realize their potential as hybrid spaces for after-school informal learning, and embrace the joy of STEM and digital literacy exploration. Concrete examples of programming and how this is changing the lives of students across the country are shared.

Presenter: Mega Subramaniam