Library Planning Research,  library technology,  Social Library Issues

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Change generated by current events has forced schools of all types to deliver online education. Today, Google Classroom and Zoom have become a necessity and are ultimately changing the way education is offered. The digital library is a key component of future education. There are three lines of service delivery: social, educational and technological. Plans for each of these elements will support your online learning environments.

According to ScienceDirect’s article Learning “beyond the classroom” , library tools used as supplemental support in courses foster a shift toward more collaborative inquiry and self-direction. They identified five main educational uses: facilitating discussions among students; developing multimedia content; sharing resources; exposing students to external resources; and supporting self-managed learning.

The American Library Association outline can be used to start developing your strategies – See Learning Beyond the Classroom: Engaging Students in Information Literacy through Co-Curricular Activities:

  • Designing Co-Curricular Learning Experiences
  • Experiential learning and information literacy
  • Planning Information Literacy in Co-Curricular Activities
  • Teaching “Information has Value” through making
  • Collaborating with Career Services to teach students “Searching as Strategic Exploration”
  • Executing Co-Curricular Activities
  • Application of tools and techniques for managing activities
  • Involvement of students as event leaders
  • Assessing Learning and Impact
  • Reflection as an effective way for students to engage in learning
  • Results from a Pre- and Post-tests on the effectiveness of an academic event


Healthcare libraries are a good example of proactive digital collectors. Library materials need to be relevant and up-to-date and digital publishing is the fastest delivery method. There is always a struggle to harness the power of the digital tools and collections that are hidden from view. For example, library management software is good at connecting content, but it also requires an understanding of LC subject headings, cloud computing and digital tools.

Here are some strategies you can use to drive your next generation digital library:

  1. E Collection Development: develop a system that provides access to catalog content through simple authentication and categorization techniques
  2. Understand Library Service Outcomes: Determine and improve with data driven analysis
  3. Study Relevant Institutions: this can help increase library collaboration by using benchmarking and verification


In this time of change it is possible organize data to improve outcomes. The more students you have, the more activity data you can gather, and that data, when analyzed by library consultants will develop the foundation of your digital library.

collaboration using technology