As part of the Australian Government's "Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan", 14.7 billion Australian Dollars will be spent over three years as part of the "Building the Education Revolution" program. This includes building quite a few school libraries, as well as gymnasium, and science and language centres.
While this big spending is not without controversy, it is without doubt the biggest single boost to library building across the country. As an aside, use the following two links to see the latest news and blog postings on this government spending programme:
• For the latest news on this education programme click here, and
• For the latest blog posts on this education programme click here.
Still, it is interesting to see what resources are now available online to help schools build 21 century libraries and learning places. In Victoria the State Government has a comprehensive Building the Education Revolution (BER) web site that includes templates and supporting material.
What is particularly encouraging about the Victorian example is the fact that the need for flexible learning spaces, as well as embedded and integrated information and communications technology, is being factored into the plans. From the point of library functionality and future proofing this is good. For more information on all this, there is a overview [PDF document], which unfortunately is buried within the Victorian eduweb site. If you use the link provided in this blog post you should be able to view it. The document outlines:
• Key design principles,
• Primary learning environments,
• 21st century Learning neighbourhoods,
• Teachers as learners,
• Active student centred learning,
• Embedded and integrated information and communications technology, and
• The 21st century library.
There are even a number of tag clouds popping up that group a lot of these school building resources in one spot. For example: