Sudbury Valley School and the “Library Model” of Education

In this post I will collect quotes and threads of conversation related to the topic of SVS and the “Library Model” of education.

(1) “… I would suggest that public libraries are wholly compatible with the Sudbury model.

Imagine how nice it would be if even one fifth of the money eaten by a
public school system, which caters to people who _don’t_ want to be there,
were spent on public resources available for anyone or everyone in the
town is s/he chooses to make use of it. The library model can expand
beyond books — one could have a library include a football field for
those citizens of the town that want one, a swimming pool, a full
gymnasium, guest speakers, an appliance lending library (need a rug
shampooer? Go down to the library and borrow one).
A library doesn’t require any member of the town to make use of its
services, and so does not violate freedom of assembly. And a library is
available to all residents, and so is not “elitist” in a way that a school
is. (After all, if I pay taxes in my town I’m _still_ not allowed to use
the football field unless I am a student in the high school.) A library
lets those who can make _use_ of the library make use of it, and lets
others walk away from it.” LINK

And another thread here


(2) James Brown song title says it all:
“I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open up the Door I’ll Get It Myself)”


(3) “Imagine a learning center where:
* All ages are present, since we never stop learning.
* The knowledge & experience of older citizens can be shared with the knowledge & experience of youth.
* Study groups and other collaborative learning groups are formed based on the participants’ interests and abilities.
* People can explore an interest as deeply as they wish or move on as the interest leads to other interests.
* “Teachers” are facilitators, becoming mentors or guides based upon their personal knowledge & skills.
* True community can be created, since the community uses the space collectively. The children are no longer artificially removed from the rest of their community. Neighbors will actually know neighbors!
* Self-reliance skills, be it growing/raising/preserving food or do-it-yourself projects, can be rediscovered – reducing the waste & dependence upon manufactured products & even manufactured food our society has become accustomed.

Read more Here


(4) Unschooling/homeschooling centers like “Northstar Teens” in Hadley, MA. This is interesting to me and obviously appreciated by many, but falls short of what I believe is possible with a full-on “school” like the Sudbury Valley school where there is 1) School Meeting which runs the school 2) a fuller mix of ages. Not just teenagers. Including kids who have been at the school from when they were very little… 4, 5, 6. This lack of a community/culture is also a downside of thinking a “library” alone could replace a school.


(5) “For roughly 60 years, Berkeley has offered more services to its residents than virtually any other city in the U.S. …. People can borrow a full set of tools from the public library. ” LINK


(6) Lost links:
1. Somewhere there are libraries that are “food delivery”/CSA drop points.
2. And I’ve read of libraries that have community events like video game contests.
3. And someone commenting on the duplication of effort of having separate school libraries vs the town library.
4. And Carnegie deciding to fund libraries, not schools/universities at some point because he felt that was a better use of $$


Any other interesting links I should add here?


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