Media Literacy and Learning Commons in the Digital Age: Toward a Knowledge Model for Successful Integration into the 21st Century School Library

By Paul Mihailidis, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Emerson College and Director, Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change

School libraries today feel increasing pressure to reinvent themselves in the face of increasing financial pressures, new media technologies, and a progressively media-savvy population. Their transformation from information reserve to knowledge center has been fast underway. This paper builds on that evolution to develop an argument for media literacy education as the pedagogical foundation for the learning commons model for school libraries. This would position the school library as a dynamic media literacy learning hub, anchoring entire schools around knowledge, expression, collaboration, and creation in both virtual and physical spaces. The paper will highlight the case of Chelmsford High School Learning Commons in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, as a vibrant central space in a school for just this type of integrated learning.


In the leafy Boston suburb of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, a sign hangs above the entrance to the Chelmsford High School Library: “We set sail on the sea because there is knowledge to be gained (John F. Kennedy).” The library’s motto–Ask, Think, Create–has signaled a shift in how the space is conceived, used, and positioned as a learning commons for the digital age.

School libraries today feel increasing pressure to reinvent themselves in the face of increasing financial pressures, new media technologies and a progressively media-savvy population. A 2010 forum hosted by the New York Times titled “Do Libraries Need Books”1 exemplified the increasingly contested landscape for the direction school libraries need to take in the digital age. Over 400 comments poured in from participants across the United States and the world. Most criticized the idea of a bookless library as a way to further cater to a fragmented and distracted generation. On the other hand, the forum bred interesting dialog about the role of new media technologies in the school library and the relevance of the printed word for 21st century learners. While participants openly questioned the efficacy of removing books from the center of the school, they also pondered how the library of tomorrow stands to keep pace with a mobile, wired, and digital youth.

Amid the rapid changes in new media technologies, the school library has worked to reinvent its core mission around that of the learning commons. Focused on addressing the needs of a more active and multimodal learning community, the learning commons model is predicated on empowering active and collaborative learning. Described in a 2010 report by the Ontario School Library Association:

The Learning Commons integrates the new and the old in a seamless physical and virtual space in which all formats can be assimilated and studied. The Learning Commons liberates the exploration of ideas and concepts, encouraging inquiry, imagination, discovery and creativity through the connection of learners to information, to each other and to communities around the world. For schools, the Learning Commons incorporates the classroom, the school library and the school board to connect students to the real and virtual worlds that are growing and maturing around them.2

This growing movement in school libraries across North American is predicated on building a more active, inquiry-based, and connected sense of learning: one that is integrated throughout the library and extends outward into the school and community. It involves collaboration among facilities, educators, and learning techniques, all anchored around the central space of the school library.3 By its conceptual makeup alone, the parallel educational trajectory that most closely resembles this is media literacy. Media literacy, a growing and now-established field associated with the media education movement writ large, is premised on promoting critical thinking skills through the ability to access, evaluate, analyze, and produce information.4 Media literacy, much like the learning commons model described above, is premised on an active learning agenda based on interactivity, collaboration, and expression, centered on empowering youth voices in a participatory age.

This paper develops a concentric framework for media literacy education and the learning commons model for school libraries. This new model positions the school library as a dynamic media literacy learning hub, anchoring entire schools around knowledge, expression, collaboration, and creation in both virtual and physical spaces. It highlights the case of Chelmsford High School Learning Commons as a vibrant central space in a school for just this type of integrated learning. This may be the most opportunistic time for school libraries. Seeing the potential that new media technologies have provided for new cross-school collaboration and integrated models for learning beckons much positive energy for the school library. If it is able to position itself as a media literacy learning commons, extending its knowledge center to incorporate production, creation, curation, and critical inquiry, it stands to become a vibrant, interactive, and fundable space that learners of tomorrow can harness for lives of active and engaged participation.

Media Literacy and the Learning Commons: An Orientation

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, an organization with a mission to prepare learners for the 21st century, lists media literacy as a core literacy in its frameworks:

People in the 21st Century live in a technology and media-suffused environment, marked by various characteristics, including: 1) access to an abundance of information, 2) rapid changes in technology tools, and 3) the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale. To be effective in the 21st Century, citizens and workers must be able to exhibit a range of functional and critical thinking skills related to information, media and technology.5

This definition clearly roots these skills in the context of critical thinking and technological fluency, clear indicators of the outcomes embraced by media literacy education and the learning commons movement.

As media continue to grow central to civic and political functions of modern democracies, models for teaching and learning about media have increasingly become the focus of literature about learning in this digital media landscape. Media literacy’s overarching goal for teaching and learning outcomes are informed decision-making, individual empowerment, nuanced understanding of mediated, savvy consumption and production skills, and participation in local, national and global dialog.6 David Buckingham, seminal media literacy scholar, succinctly aggregated the myriad of approaches to media literacy when he described it as:

“A critical literacy that involves analysis, evaluation, and critical reflection,” that is possible only through the “acquisition of a metalanguage–that is, a means of describing the forms and structures of different modes of communication; and it involves a broader understanding of the social, economic and institutional contexts of communication, and how these affect people’s experiences and practices.7 Media literacy certainly includes the ability to use and interpret media; but it also involves a much broader analytical understanding.8

In the K-12 landscape, much work has been devoted to finding ways to integrate foundations of media literacy into classrooms and with teachers.9 New approaches to technology in the classroom and with teachers have begun recognizing digital realities for youth and learning. In her newest book Digital and Media Literacy, Renee Hobbs stresses the competencies needed to prepare students for lives of fast-paced change and technological evolution. Hobbs doesn’t see the core of media literacy changing in this context; rather, she finds it ever more necessary to harness the human curiosity, the ability to listen, and seek diverse knowledge across platforms. These dispositions provide students with the basic competencies to handle a reality of integrated information spaces, constant sharing, public identities, and low barriers to production.10

Nevertheless, media literacy integration into the school remains somewhat of a challenge. Up until very recently, most media literacy initiatives were reserved for understanding how to effectively consume messages11 with little exploration into the ways that social media platforms and mobile technologies have shifted the typical producer-receiver structure for messages. Because of the lack of a clear fit in the K-12 environment, most successful media literacy work has been done on the periphery, integrated into sections or parts of classrooms, detailed in afterschool and extension programs, and left largely to self-starting educators who care about the process.

With clear pressure on teachers to maintain outcomes associated with testing standards and rigid curricular structures, one space in the school where media literacy seems best positioned is the school library. Libraries have traditionally served as the central information repository for the school. They struggled with the reputation they established as a space for sitting in silence and isolation while finding information. Part of this image problem stems from a clear lack of resources and infrastructure and from the fast-paced technological change that is defining youth information habits today.

Nevertheless, school libraries fundamental relevance and contribution to learning must embrace the digital revolution emerging around the world if they are to flourish in the digital age. Mizuko Ito’s12 work in schools showed how students engage and form knowledge communities that are both self-serving and collaborative when the motivation and intrinsic freedom to explore and engage are present. As the school library is continually pressured to make the transition from information reserve to knowledge center, media literacy education has the ability to ground the library in more active and collaborative learning approaches for the entire school, and to help recast its image as a creative and collaborative space.

At Chelmsford High School, the learning commons model has taken this initiative head on. By transforming its space into a more open, dynamic, and integrated knowledge center, the learning commons at Chelmsford High School has integrated learning, technology, and interactivity throughout its space and extending into the school. While still in relative infancy, this model has shown how the school libraries of tomorrow can better embrace the powers of technologies and platforms to serve the learners of a digital world.

An Uncommon Transformation: The Chelmsford High School Learning Commons

The Learning Commons at Chelmsford High School occupies 12,500 square feet of space, serving over 1600 students and approximately 110 teachers. The town population is roughly 35,000, with 14 percent minority groups. With a median income of 82,000 dollars and average taxes of just over $5,000, Chelmsford is considered a middle- to upper-middle class community.

The school library began its transformation around 2003—2004, when administrators from the school, with some capitol funding from the town and backing from the town administration, began to think creatively about what innovative and dynamic approaches they could take with the library space. They centered this approach on how the library could facilitate collaborative work across content areas, and reinvent the library as a space where students could gather, talk, work, and socialize. These ideas were refined over years, and by 2008, the library was physically reconstructed as a learning commons. Today, school librarians associated with Chelmsford’s Learning Commons meet regularly with departments and individual teachers to plan lessons, integrate technology into learning and exploring, share resources, and discuss general ways to enhance student learning in a digital age.

Valerie Diggs, head of school libraries in Chelmsford, has garnered national attention from scholars, advocates, and educators who support the forward-thinking vision for her complete remodeling of the Chelmsford High School Library into a Learning Commons. What Diggs is more concerned about, however, is the resistance she sees from some in the community. “Parents post comments on our site that students should be learning more, and not just playing instruments and drinking coffee,” notes Diggs. “The idea of a school library as a collaborative and open knowledge center is still seen as somewhat shallow, or too unstructured to be part of a school’s core learning goals.” What hinders the school library from its realized value to a 21st century school is that the large-scale changes it must conduct to arrive on the forefront of integrated and multimodal learning are twofold. The new changes are difficult to quantify into tangible measures of success, and are often decided by constituents that are increasingly removed from the classroom and hesitant to embrace this large-scale change.

Nevertheless, the Chelmsford High School Learning Commons continues to believe that it can become the dynamic space schools need to engage a wired generation of active learners. In a practical sense, this involves showing teachers, administrators, and parents how, as Regina Lee Rodgers writes, “the ‘learning commons’ model has the potential to be a laboratory for students, librarians and faculty. It is a collaboration space and requires partnerships and cooperation across disciplines.”13 Diggs, for her part, sees the transformation of the library from an information reserve to a knowledge center as central to this process, citing the work of scholars14 who have paved the way for her library’s transformation.

How has the Chelmsford High School Learning Commons integrated media literacy into its purview? Diggs and her staff spent considerable time planning not only the physical shift in space but also the pedagogical shift in the library from passive to active. This meant creating an agenda for the library based on some of the learning outcomes that encapsulate the current agenda for media literacy: dialog, critical inquiry, collaboration, informed decision-making, savvy information production and consumption skills, and understanding how to negotiate identity and participation in digital contexts. The following shifts in the Chelmsford High School Learning Commons predicate its integration with core media literacy learning experiences and outcomes, and with facilitating an integrated and collaborative model for the school.

1. Print to the Periphery–Diggs’s first unique move made was not to eliminate the printed word, but to move it from the center of the space to the periphery. The printed word is still felt throughout the space, but it largely consists of reference material, classic and seminal literature, and popular titles for teachers and students. Diggs sees the idea behind this shift as one that “creates a space more accustomed to open learning, and collaboration, where the library can now be seeing as a dynamic space where teachers and students can explore together.” Continued Diggs:

Older library designs created an atmosphere of individuality, where students could not be seen or heard, and in fact those were the rules of school libraries for a long time. With knowledge transfer and exploration shifting from linear to more of an organized chaos, the library could no longer live in the past. So by creating a more open and fluid design, we want students and teachers to see the space as inviting, where they can come, hangout, explore, investigate, collaborate, and created. Those are the hallmarks of the learning commons approach at Chelmsford High School. 16

Beyond simply filling the periphery of the library with books, Diggs also tried to make the physical space more interpersonal by inserting booths to break up the stacks, and create the feel of spaces that students are used to “hanging around” such as Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, and so on. Diggs cautions that this is not a nod to reframing the library as a large brand or consumer environment; rather, it is “to help integrate the learning process with an environment students find themselves naturally more comfortable and productive in.” In her 2010 book Media Literacy, Social Networks, and Web 2.0, scholar Belinha De Abreu makes a convincing argument for how schools need to integrate and design learning environments for students of this interactive age:

Schools need to begin by looking at how they bring in the technologies that students are using in their homes and for their personal use and bridge opportunities for learning in the classroom. However, it is more than just using the technology, it is about understanding where the future exists for our children.17

By moving print from the center to the periphery, the Chelmsford High School Learning Commons has taken the first step in designing a coherent space for understanding the technological landscape for students, and also the spaces and environments that support the opportunities to bridge learning techniques and approaches in virtual and physical spaces.

2.’  Introspective to Interactive–The library’s traditional position as information reserve came with the distinct notion of learning as an introspective pursuit: a direct and in-depth relationship with texts that in most cases required solitude, deep concentration, and the static retention of knowledge. In his 2010 work The Shallows, David Carr laments the loss of this ability to be introspective:

And so we ask the Internet to keep interrupting us, in ever and more different ways…We willingly accept the loss of concentration and focus, the division of our attention and the fragmentation of our thoughts, in return for the wealth of compelling or at least diverting information we receive. Tuning out is not an option many of us would consider.18

What does this shift signal for the library? For Chelmsford’s Learning Commons, it means understanding how learning has moved from an introspective to an interactive pursuit. This in no way alludes to completely ignoring the need for deep information processing and concentration, but rather an increasing attention to what Henry Jenkins describes as a participatory culture:

Participatory culture is emerging as the culture absorbs and responds to the explosion of new media technologies that make it possible for average consumers to archive, annotate, appropriate, and recirculate media content in powerful new ways. A focus on expanding access to new technologies carries us only so far if we do not also foster the skills and cultural knowledge necessary to deploy those tools toward our own ends.19

One way this is done in Chelmsford’s Learning Commons is through the inclusion of live music sessions, open mic sessions, poetry readings, poetry slams, listening lunches, group workrooms, and a general focus on expression and interactivity. Students are even treated once a week to morning coffee. The focus is one in which a collaborative environment can help reframe the library away from a place where there should be no interaction, noise, or dialog to one that is open, friendly, creative, and interactive. When students feel comfortable in the space–having coffee with friends or playing music together–they stand to feel more engaged around the library as a place to explore, learn, and interact.20

3.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘  Information to Investigation–In hyper-mediated environments, media literacy scholarship has been concerned with how youth understand the value of their information habits online. This means an attention to credibility, verification, and savvy navigation on the web. Media literacy scholars21 see the value of critical web navigation skills as central to building a strong knowledge base in a digital age.

In the learning commons model, teachers and librarians must be prepared to have the technological infrastructure and instructional knowledge to help in mastering search and investigation online.22 Students are often implored to never judge a book by its cover, and here it’s no different. When doing class projects, historical inquiries, or any type of in-depth exploration, students are mentored by the staff on how to effectively search and navigate online, judge credibility of sources, and use print materials to support, start, or sustain any project that requires in-depth investigation.

Diggs sees the role of inquiry as a core function of libraries since the day they were born. Today’s youth “need to know the fundamentals of judging creativity and credibility online,” said Diggs, “as it is the core of empowering their knowledge about the world and their participation in local communities once they move on to higher education and careers.”

4.’  Consumption to Connectivity–Finally, the Chelmsford High School Learning Commons has created a landscape for connectivity as its overarching agenda for the library. In the context of the learning commons, this refers both to connectivity within the learning commons space, and connectivity between the learning commons, the classroom, and the community. Popular scholar Clay Shirky sums up the need for connectivity when he writes in Cognitive Surplus, “The logic of digital media, on the other hand, allows the people formerly known as the audience to create value for one another every day.”23 Creating value for one another is at the forefront of Diggs’s approach to the learning common model. “The learning commons in the end of the day is about providing students, teachers, and the community a way to connect to information, to each other, and to their aspirations and dreams,” says Diggs. “It’s about finding a way to think about the library as a vibrant learning environment.”

In the learning commons space at Chelmsford High School, this is reflected in many ways. Laptop computers connected wirelessly exist throughout the library, available for students to use at their leisure or for structured projects. iPads are available for loan, loaded with apps and platforms to help students become accustomed to mobile technologies for learning. Physical board games are also available for students to play, showing that a learning commons space is not simply about technology, but about connecting in a very human way.

This connectivity also extends into the community, something that Diggs believes is also a priority of a truly collaborative and interactive learning commons. Chelmsford High School’s Learning Commons manages a Twitter feed, a regular streaming update of what classes are doing in the space on a daily basis, and a database of resources that can be accessed from home. These extensions into the community only strengthen the position of the learning commons as an integrated space not only for libraries but also for school systems, districts, and vibrant communities.

The Chelmsford High School Learning Commons, in the face of shrinking budgets and resources, has become a dynamic, collaborative, and creative space aimed at providing a learning environment for students growing up in a hypermedia age. The true value of this space will be in its ability to show teachers, and parents, that technologies and interactivity are vital to the life skills of youth in the 21st century. Mizuko Ito24 and Larry Rosen25 have written extensively about the gap in participation and usability between parents, teachers, and youth in terms of gaming, learning, and expressing. They highlight the generational gatekeeping by parents and teachers in the context of fast-evolving technologies as an impediment to embracing interactivity, collaboration, and technology for deep learning. The learning commons model for school libraries, integrated with the core learning outcomes of media literacy education, can be the bridge that helps connect teachers and learners in a fast-paced and ever-changing information age.

Towards an Integrated Model for 21st Century Media Literacy Learning Commons

The technology of today, whether it is the Web 2.0 tools, the social networking sites, or the newest gadgets provide schools with a unique opportunity to foster an understanding of the power of the information world and the Internet through media literacy education.26

In a 2010 paper, Diggs and the author of this paper first mused about the media literacy learning commons approach. What emerged from that was a theoretical model (Figure 1) that incorporated various critical components of both media literacy and the learning commons–access, investigation, critical analysis, expression, and appreciation–that the authors felt comprised an inclusive way of seeing the unique connections in these movements, and how combining them stood to strengthen the overall scope and reach of the learning commons model for K-12 schools.

Figure 1–The 21st Century Media Literacy Learning Commons Model27

Mihailidis Figure 1In this model, students are asked to employ a range of critical thinking and information skills, exploring how and where to access information, how to navigate and search for information effectively online, how to assess messages for accuracy and credibility, how to negotiate privacy and expression online, and how to use newfound digital platforms to empower creativity in our lives. The model was aimed at creating a learning environment where students engage with information and media as an extension of their daily habits.28 Wrote the authors:

What can reenergize the role of the library in this environment is its focus on providing not only access to information–which no longer needs concentrated physical space–but also direction for learning how to become an active, engaged, expressive, and empowered media user in everyday life.29

The learning commons model has the ability to serve as a hub for integrating media, technology and 21st century digital fluency. Below, we build on our theoretical model for the media literacy learning commons by offering a concentric framework for schools to consider for how media literacy learning commons can integrate into the larger landscape and mission of the learning commons (Figure 2).

This model takes from the core shifts in the Learning Commons ideology, evidenced through the Chelmsford High School case study, and applies the outcomes of media literacy education as a core necessity for integrating learning, technology, and community in the digital age.

Figure 2–Concentric Framework for Media Literacy Learning Commons

Mihailidis Figure 2In each of these concentric spaces, tied together by a collaborative and open design where the “stacks” form a nice periphery to the central space, there exists an open concept based on the implicit blending of spaces, competencies, and fluencies. Together, these spaces disrupt common silos for the library and the school30 and promote the entire school in the context of the learning community.31

The Expression space encompasses media literacy outcomes around empowering voice, activism, and creativity.32 In this part of the learning commons, students engage in creative acts–poetry, music, art, public speaking–and are encouraged to engage in physical and virtual acts of expression. Here the learning commons space also transitions from quiet to conversational, where students do not feel prohibited from engaging in discussion within the space. While certain parts of the learning commons are and should be reserved for quiet and concentrated study, those spaces, along with the books, move to the periphery.

The learning commons space offer wireless access, mobile technologies, and laptops throughout. The librarians at Chelmsford High School guide students and classrooms in the art of Inquiry in both digital and print realms. This part of the concentric model involves providing points of access and models or guides for investigation through web tools and print materials. Students learn to differentiate information online and develop sophisticated search techniques and habits of inquiry around classroom projects. This part of the model is driven by the library staff serving as an open and knowledgeable outlet for both classrooms and students who use the space for independent and structured work.

Along with cultivating habits of inquiry, most youth today are creating and sharing content online.33 Schools of the past would have separate areas for media production and for media consumption. In the Production space of the learning commons, an emphasis lies on multimedia storytelling. This does not mean high-end production equipment or the need to have any advanced technological skills, which are means of production that have always been restrictive to youth because of barriers to access and high transaction costs.34 Rather, space for production means space allowing students to create and share stories with simple online platforms, and cultivate habits of participation. When involved in a class project, the outcome as a static paper is of value, but in an age of creative expression and access to so many voices, the learning commons is best positioned to help teach the ethics of online voices, styles of public dialog, and keen attention to what it means to create content in print, video, and audio format for the web.

The final concentric circle reflects the goal of the newly positioned learning commons for all students, teachers, administrators and parents. If indeed today’s youth must learn to exist and thrive in a fast-paced and media-centric society, they must learn to connect with community in meaningful and mediated ways. As society shifts from the hyper-consumption of information, goods, and services, to more sharing, collaboration, and group mechanics,35 the learning commons as a community space can be that central hub where learning exists in the context of new models for social production.

Through this new space and framework, what Chelmsford High School is attempting to do is change the culture of the library and, accordingly, the school. The learning commons movement has been present and growing for some time now in North America and beyond. As media grows more and more central and ubiquitous in the lives of youth worldwide, if media literacy is seen as the pedagogical approach for the learning commons of tomorrow, it can enable opportunity to keep pace with ever-quickening technology changes, and increasing pressure for resources and budgets. If the culture of the library can be re-envisioned as a space to engage, collaborate, and explore, the opportunities to meet new demands for media literacy education, garner more support for the central role of the library in the school, and help empower the learners and leaders of tomorrow will be greater than ever before.

References and Notes

  1. See the forum online.
  2. Ontario School Library Association, Together for Learning: School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning Commons: A Vision for the 21st Century (Toronto, Canada, 2010), 6.
  3. David Loertscher, Carol Koechlin, and Sandy Zwaan, The New Learning Commons: Where Learners Win (Salt Lake City, UT: Hi Willow Research & Pub, 2008).
  4. Patricia Aufderheide and Charles Firestone, Media Literacy: A Report of the National Leadership Conference on Media Literacy (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1993); Art Silverblatt, Media Literacy: Keys to Interpreting Media Messages, 2nd ed. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2001); W. James Potter, Theory of Media Literacy: A Cognitive Approach (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2004).
  5. “P21 Framework Definitions,” Framework for 21st Century Learning. Partnership for 21st Century Skills, May 2010. ‘”Œdocuments/”ŒP21_Framework_Definitions.pdf (accessed February 22, 2012).
  6. Elliot Gaines, Media Literacy and Semiotics (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010).
  7. Carmen Luke, “New Literacies in Teacher Education.” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 43, no. 2 (February 2000): 424—435.
  8. David Buckingham, Media Education: Literacy, Learning and Contemporary Culture (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2003), 38.
  9. ‘ See Belinha De Abreu, Media Literacy, Social Networking, and the Web 2.0 Environment for the K-12 Educator (New York: Peter Lang, 2011); Colin Lankshear and Michelle Knobel, “From Web 2.0 to School 2.0.” Threshold 5, no. 2 (2007): 4-8; Kevin Oliver, “Integrating Web 2.0 Across the Curriculum,” TechTrends 54, no. 2 (March/April 2010): 50-60; Cyndy Scheibe and Faith Rogow, The Teacher’s Guide to Media Literacy: Critical Thinking in a Multimedia World (Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2011).
  10. Renee Hobbs, Digital and Media Literacy: Connecting Culture and Classroom (Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2011).
  11. W. James Potter, Media Literacy, 3rd ed. (CA, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2005).
  12. ‘ Mizuko Ito, Heather A. Horst,’ Arthur Law,’ Annie Manion,’ Sarai Mitnick,’ David Schlossberg,’ and Sarita Yardi, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2009).
  13. Regina Lee Roberts, “The Evolving Landscape of the Learning Commons”, Library Review 56, no. 9 (2007): 803-810.
  14. David Booth and Jennifer Roswell, The Literacy Principal: Leading, Supporting and Assessing Reading and Writing Initiatives, 2nd ed. (Markham, ON: Pembroke Publishers, 2007); Ross Todd, “If School Librarians Can’t Prove They Make a Difference, They May Cease to Exist,” School Library Journal 4, no. 1 (2008); Christopher Shoemaker, H. Jack Martin and Barry Joseph, “How Using Social Media Forced a Library to Work on the Edge in Their Efforts to Move Youth From ‘Hanging Out’ to ‘Messing Around,’” Journal of Media Literacy Education 2, no. 2 (2010): 181-184.
  15. Renee Hobbs, Digital and Media Literacy (2011).
  16. All quotes from Valerie Diggs come from interviews and discussions in fall 2011.
  17. Belinha De Abreu, Media Literacy, Social Networking, and the Web 2.0 Environment for the K-12 Educator (2011).
  18. David Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains (New York, Norton, 2011): 134.
  19. Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (New York: NYU Press, 2006): 8.
  20. David V. Loertscher. “The Time is Now: Transform Your School Library into a Learning Commons,” Teacher Librarian 36, no. 1 (2008): 8-14.
  21. Belinha De Abreu, Media Literacy, Social Networking, and the Web 2.0 Environment for the K-12 Educator (2011); Douglas Kellner and Jeff Share, “Towards Critical Media Literacy: Core Concepts, Debates, Organizations, and Policy,” Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 26, no. 3 (2005): 369-386; Renee Hobbs, Digital and Media Literacy (2011).
  22. Scott Bennett, “Libraries and Learning: A History of Paradigm Change,” Libraries and the Academy 9, no. 2 (2009): 181-197.
  23. Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age (New York: Penguin, 2010): 52.
  24. Mizuko Ito, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out, 2009.
  25. Larry Rosen, “Understanding the iGeneration: Before the Next Mini-Generation Arrives,” Nieman Reports 64, no. 2, (2010): 24-26.
  26. Belinha De Abreu, Media Literacy, Social Networking, and the Web 2.0 Environment for the K-12 Educator (2011): 62.
  27. Paul Mihailidis and Valerie Diggs, “From Information Reserve to Media Literacy Learning Commons: Revisiting the 21st Century Library as the Home for Media Literacy Education,” Public Library Quarterly 29 (2010): 1-14.
  28. Valerie Diggs, “From Library to Learning Commons: A Metamorphosis,” Teacher Librarian 36, no. 4 (2009): 32-38.
  29. Mihailidis and Diggs, “From Library to Learning Commons,” 2009.
  30. Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn and Curtis W. Johnson, Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008).
  31. Richard DuFour, “Schools as Learning Communities,” Educational Leadership 61, no. 8 (2004): 6.
  32. Alfonso Gutiérrez and Kathleen Tyner, “Media Education, Media Literacy and Digital Competence,” Communicar: Scientific Journal of Media Education (2010).
  33. Kaiser Family Foundation, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year-Olds, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (Menlo Park, CA, 2010); Pew Internet & American Life Project, Teens and Social Media (Washington, DC, 2009).
  34. Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (New York: Penguin, 2009).
  35. Rachel Bostam and Roo Rodgers, What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption (New York: Harper Business, 2010).
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