You are here

Blog: Thursday, November 25th, 2021

The Success of our Library Learning Commons

Step into the Library Learning Commons at Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School at various times throughout the day, and you are likely to find students engaged in rousing games of Jenga or Uno, lounging on a couch reading, and collaborating with friends over an assignment. Time your visit well, and perhaps you could listen in on the student-led Book Club or participate in a SOGI club meeting. The LLC is the heart of Abbotsford Traditional, and LLC Teacher Brenda Mallory has worked hard to make it so.

Aligned with our school goal of encouraging student involvement and with the district’s strategic plan for student success, Brenda has been transforming the learning commons over the last several years. The LLC offers students comfortable, flexible seating and a variety of board games, cards, and puzzles, which draw in students who may not otherwise be inclined to visit. Brenda sponsors a student-led Book Club, offering space and resources but otherwise stepping back to allow students the freedom of voice and choice in their literary pursuits. She’s also the school’s SOGI representative and in addition to sponsoring the club and ensuring “Safe Space” stickers are visible in the LLC, she has been actively growing the library collection’s selection of books written by, and featuring, LGBTQ+ persons.

Improving the diversity of the collection overall has been a priority for Brenda for the last several years. In addition to offering students a window into the lives of others, she strives to ensure that our students can really see themselves in the books we have in the library. By displaying and recommending books with characters and experiences that our students identify with – be that South Asian, queer, Muslim, those with mental-health challenges, and so much more – our students can see and feel that they belong, and that we value them and their voices at ATSS. Through all of this and more, Brenda has focused on creating a sense of belonging, increasing student engagement at school, and building community. The active, welcoming environment of our LLC reflects her success.


Principal, Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School