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Administrative Procedure 270: Learning Commons

The learning commons is an integral part of the school program.   It is a space that inspires inquiry, curiosity, collaboration and student engagement with learning.  All learners will be welcomed and encouraged to be active participants in their lifelong learning journey.

An integrated learning commons program should be directed by trained personnel (Learning Commons Facilitators) and should provide a range of learning resources in a variety of formats at all appropriate levels for the students in the jurisdiction.

Learning Commons Policy - Guide to Education

The goal of the learning commons is to enable all students to be engaged thinkers and ethical citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit. The concept of a learning commons is a shift in thinking from a library as a physical space that is a repository of books, to an inclusive, flexible, learner-centred, physical and/or virtual space for collaboration, inquiry, imagination and play to expand and deepen learning. A learning commons is an agile and responsive learning and teaching environment available to individuals and groups to use for multiple, often simultaneous, purposes. It supports literacy, numeracy, competency development and student learning outcomes through access to and instruction in the effective use of print and digital resources.

Guidelines for the Learning Commons:


  1. Adequate facilities, preferably in a central location with an extensive range of materials, equipment, and media services for the use of teachers and students must be provided.
  2. The Learning Commons Facilitator, under the leadership of the principal, shall:
    1. Collaborate with school staff to gather data and resources to meet the learning needs and interests of students; 
    2. Provide support, space and resources for inquiry, play, and imagination in consultation with Administration;
    3. Collaborate with teachers to find resources (repositories of learning materials, audiobooks, etc.)  to support learning 
    4. Engage students in the learning process and encourage literacy and numeracy activities in the learning commons
    5. Provide support, resources, and opportunities for transferability of learning to support broad exploration and inquiry that leads to deeper learning;
    6. Provide meaningful opportunities for students to develop the ability to gain information from a variety of information sources and communicate to others through a variety of technology sources.
    7. Promote student interest in reading, viewing and listening.
  3. Selection of Resources
    1. Learning resources are sources of information regardless of format. Careful evaluation and selection of these learning resources is necessary to meet student and curricular needs.
    2. The intent of the division is to provide a wide range of learning resources at varying levels of difficulty and in several different formats. These materials, through their diversity of appeal and their presentation of different points of view to meet the needs of students, teachers and the experiences encompassed in the curriculum, will promote the intellectual, cultural, social and ethical development of students.
    3. Learning resources are to be selected carefully. The criteria for selection of learning resources shall be established by the teaching staff in conjunction with the librarian and administration. The criteria shall include resources that:
      1. Provide materials which promote diversity and represent the diverse religious, ethnic, linguistic, gender identity and cultural groups and their contributions in the community.
      2. Provide the Indigenous viewpoint and culture from a variety of resources (including print, multimedia, digital, etc.)
      3. Stimulate intellectual growth and increase factual knowledge and application; 
    4. The Learning Commons Facilitator, in conjunction with school administration should evaluate and select learning resources according to the following criteria:
      1. Copyright date, especially in the fields of science, social science and humanities;
      2. Timeliness and permanence of the material;
      3. Relationship of the item to the curriculum;
      4. Relationship of the item to extracurricular activities including reading or enjoyment;
      5. Relationship of the items to community interests;
      6. Guidelines for diversity and understanding; and Canadian content priorities.
    5. Specific criteria regarding controversial issues include:
      1. Materials on religion are chosen to explain rather than convince and are selected to represent the field as widely as necessary for school purposes;
      2. Selection of materials on political theories or ideologies or on public issues is directed toward maintaining a balanced collection representing various views;
      3. The fact of sexual incidents or profanity appearing should not automatically disqualify any material; and
      4. Sexual material of a factual and instruction nature and various reading levels is recommended in conjunction with Board and school policies.
  4. Discarding Materials
    1. Materials that have been badly damaged should be discarded as the need arises. Appropriate records should be kept to allow purchase of a new copy or a suitable substitute if the material is judged to be of sufficient value, interest and/or quality to warrant the cost.
    2. Weeding should usually take place yearly during the inventory in June or on a continual basis. Out-of-date material should be removed from the shelves in favour of more current information so that students and teachers will be able to locate relevant data in their subject area.


Ministerial Order on Student Learning

Guide to Education - Learning Commons Policy

Learning Commons Guidelines


Revised July 2022