John Pritchard School
River East Transcona School Division
Barbara Bowles is an administrator who is supportive and focused on literacy. Barbara believes that the library and the library program are central to a school’s literacy program. As a former English teacher, Barbara knows the importance of literacy learning and strong literacy teaching.
Barbara has been an administrator in the River East Transcona School Division for quite some time. The last 5 years have been at John Pritchard School, a Kindergarten to Grade 8 school with a diverse student population. Barbara believes in a strong library team and has advocated for the library to be fully staffed with a teacher librarian and a library technician.
Barbara has always supported the needs of the Library and is open to the new direction of the Library in moving towards becoming a Learning Commons. She understands that an excellent, effective Library/Learning Commons is always evolving and changing in many ways: the physical book collections, expanding into eBooks and technology, incorporating MakerSpaces, the acquisition of new furniture, and accommodating an ever-flexible schedule and providing the funds needed to keep the Library a vibrant and welcome facility are always well-met.
In times when libraries are struggling, it is wonderful to have an administrator who continually supports the purchase of many new books, magazines and digital resources. Barbara is supportive of the transition from library to learning commons, understanding the philosophy of a learning commons and the need for a learning space to reflect the needs of 21st century learners. Under her leadership, the library has made considerable changes, including more comfortable seating, a moveable projector screen, mobile shelving, literacy activities for the youngest classes and a developing makerspace that includes littleBits and educational K’nex.
Barbara understands the need for a learning commons to have flexible scheduling and allows the library staff to meet the needs of the students and teachers by scheduling classes as needed. She supports literature promotion classes as well as allowing the teacher-librarian to co-teach in many areas, including Inquiry-Based Learning, writing projects using the OLM as learned in the divisional Regie Routman residencies, middle years book clubs and literature circles.
Barbara sees the role of teacher-librarian as one of a literacy leader, and a part of literacy and technology initiatives, residencies and PLCs. As a technology coordinator and a team leader, the teacher-librarian has a voice in school decision making, which keeps the library central in many school projects.
Children always come first, and Barbara ensures that the library is central to literacy learning at John Pritchard School. We are fortunate to have an administrator who is such a strong advocate for our library learning commons!