Wendy Wright school library software user story

Librarian Talk – Wendy Wright – Avonside Girls' High & Shirley Boys' High

Welcome to Librarian Talk, the place where librarians get to talk about their roles, their unique situations and how Accessit Library has helped them. This week, we speak with Wendy Wright, Library Manager at Avonside Girls’ High & Shirley Boys’ High about how she makes the most of Accessit Library.

I’m a Library Manager with 14 years’ experience. I started at a small country school in North Canterbury converting their library from a card catalogue system to a computerised library management system with support and training from Services to Schools.

I live on a small farm and love country living with all the pets and opportunities it provides.

Last year I had a wonderful achievement with my new library team of Imogen Loakman and Louise Reichwein. We merged two separate school libraries into one shared space for two schools. This involved a huge amount of interaction with two sets of school management teams and Accessit, developing its library management system to work for our unique use case.

Wendy Wright

Library Manager, Avonside Girls' High & Shirley Boys' High, NZ

What character in a book has influenced you the most?

Dibs from “Dibs in search of self”, an older book that tore at my heart.

Tell us about your library! What makes it unique?

My library serves grades 5-12 and it is gorgeous. It has a lot of windows, so it is always easy to tell what the weather is outside. The metal roof lets us know how hard it is raining, too. We have a lot of books, over 25,000, with a smallish student population. I feel really lucky to be able to work in such a resource rich, beautiful space. (I miss it terribly during quarantine.)

Wow everything, my awesome staff Imogen and Louise make it very unique. A lot has been asked of them in the last 12 months! Everything is new, systems, timetables, school cultures and collections etc.

We work in New Zealand’s first co-sited school library, accommodating two single sex schools that have shared common spaces, one being our Māpuna library. We merged two separate schools’ collections into one with the ongoing challenge of reporting to each school separately using gender or virtual groups.

This has meant we have had a close relationship with Accessit technicians and had them on speed dial especially in the first few months, we asked a lot of them and their library management system due to our unique situation.

What is a challenge that you faced in your library recently?

Reporting has been a challenge as not all reports can be picked by gender. It’s very important we can offer both schools their own unique data sets.

We are considering a curb-side drop off and pick up of requested materials.

How did Accessit Library help you solve this challenge?

The help desk using the fantastic Team Viewer option talked us through using vertical groups for the reporting to get the exact data we required.

How has your attitude changed towards the challenge you solved with Accessit Library, now that you’ve worked through it?

We have gained confidence and can now offer both schools the data they require. A huge relief that it was actually an easy fix once we tapped into the knowledge of the Accessit Help desk.

What do you like the most about Accessit Library?

We love Team Viewer and the confident team member who is on the other end of the phone, showing us a way to resolve our issue.

I also love their ability to hear us and our issues and sometimes just say we actually are not sure how that could work, but we will talk to our development team and get back to you and every single time they did, with a solution.

How does Accessit Library support the academic outcomes of your school?

We can quickly identify our popular titles and use that info to build the collection, thus increasing the reading of our students by providing similar popular text.
It also allows us to be very efficient in managing the departments textbooks for both schools so they can confidently be issued to students for extended text assessments.

Here are stories from other New Zealand librarians making the most of their school library software that may be of interest to you:

Delia Achten – Ashburton College

Anita Vandenberghe – St Kentigern College

Amy Featonby – Cambridge High School

Lynn Vare – Otago Boys’ High School

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