Let’s Talk Libraries: Our Lady of Lourdes – Danielle Leathart
The Accessit Library Management System is used extensively within the school to support curriculum learning at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School such as English and TECH lessons, extending students research and reading beyond the school library.
- Third-Party Integrations
- Information Literacy
- Student Engagement
- Interactive Web Interface
- Curriculum Subjects
I like the one-stop-shop and user interface aspects of AccessIt Library. Cataloguing is simple. The seamless pathway to SCIS is invaluable and time saving. I love how we can connect our subscriptions and providers (ClickView, Britannica, local and national libraries) straight into the Web App, making the information easily accessible for our users.
What was the decision-making process like in choosing to switch to Accessit Library?
I had previous experience with Accessit Library when doing my masters at The Glennie School. There were changes with our previous supplier at Our Lady of Lourdes, so collectively the librarians started looking at new options and we switched to Accessit Library in 2019.
This was mostly done by our Head of Librarians here in the Toowoomba Diocese sat in on a session with them in awe of what Accessit Library offered and how you could use the Web App. I looked at the Web App and thought, “There is so much I could do here and make things accessible”.
How did you find the process of switching to Accessit Library once you had made the decision?
I found the switch very straight forward.
The training was excellent and the support provided by the AccessIt Library Support team has always been prompt in helping me solve any issues.
Initially, you take on board what you need to get going. We didn’t realise there’s so many other things you can do with Accessit Library!
I probably spend most of my time going, “I want to do this, so I’ll just pop into ALeC (Accessit Library’s eLearning Centre) and find an answer or video.” There is always something to help me process whatever idea I have on that particular day. I learn new things all the time and go, “Oh, I didn’t know that – that’s handy!”
I have also personally found the support outstanding. I find the support desk amazing, especially Christine – she’s so patient. I might forget something and then she starts to talk and I go, “Ah, that makes sense, that is not where I was looking!’.
From all of Accessit Library’s features and capabilities you continue to discover and use, which ones do you find the most valuable?
I love the Accessit Library Web App. I find the interface easy to navigate and I love updating the content for students. I have designed the Web App at Our Lady of Lourdes to be a launch pad. I use it in almost all of my TECH lessons to springboard students onto the internet. I want them to come to the Web App and know that it is a safe place to find what we have and what is available beyond the library.
I also like that the One Search options include local and national libraries and other trusted sources of information.
How does Accessit Library support the TECH lessons and English Programs at Our Lady of Lourdes?
Part of my role over the last few years has been to help teachers with mainly digital technologies. We started with prep, teaching the kids how to use the mouse tracking pad, keyboard and laptop. The student’s job is to open a computer, find the Accessit Library link, go to class pages, and then launch out into one of the games from there. It’s something that I’m really passionate about.
Whenever I teach, I start my lessons with Accessit Library. When I’m teaching lessons about coding, we go to Accessit first and we launch out to Scratch, Blockly games or anything I’m using with my students – all from Accessit Library. I want the teachers to start doing that too, so that we’re keeping control over what the students are accessing and how they get there. I want Accessit Library to become Google!
Teachers are writing in to their English programs that when they’re doing reviews at certain year levels, one of those reviews must be an Accessit Library review. It’s building part of the English program and it’s also building things on Accessit Library.
Some kids will leave me reviews all the time and others will only engage when it is in class and assessments, but they know it’s there and they can access it when they want to.
I look at some of the reviews as more of a ‘sticky note to Mrs. Leathart’, letting me know that they liked the book. I make a mental note of it and go, “Okay, so it seems like the girls in Year 5 particularly like this sort of novel,” and this helps to grow our collections in those general directions.
How does Accessit Library further support you and the students at Our Lady of Lourdes?
We want to connect our students with good quality information and resources quickly without running them around Google. Accessit Library’s integration with these subscriptions and providers takes out those extra steps. Of course, kids eventually become capable with Google, but it is a minefield when they’re first starting to research. Whereas, with access to other providers there are really great links to other websites that can help us. We use Accessit Library as our stepping stone onto the internet.
I think my role is to help them unlock quality knowledge. I want to lead the students to the right places. I can direct them to places like Trove or the Queensland Library site for our older students, and places like Britannica or DK findout! for our younger students.
I can do this knowing with confidence that they are going to find good information, but not too much that they will have no idea what to do with it. Also, the students who need more will find more, because there’s extra links added to the already helpful links that Accessit Library and our subscriptions provide, which I know are being checked and are relatively safe.
Anecdotally, I have noticed that many students are using AccessIt Library to narrow down the search scope of research.
Accessit Library’s One Search
They use Accessit Library’s One Search to find articles from Britannica or content from ClickView, mostly. I find students are keen to use it when I am leading lessons. I think the next group of users I need to upskill and ‘sell’ the value of AccessIt Library to is the staff. A lot of the research happens out in their classrooms, so I’m working on teachers and showing them how we can get to places like ClickView, where there are videos that have good links and great information for students. If teachers would use AccessIt Library as a starting point for research I think it would reinforce to students that it is the place to start.
Accessit Library’s Web App
Students have enjoyed looking at their Accessit Library Web App and many have taken to looking on the catalogue to find ‘similar’ titles via Syndetics. They also like the fact that they can get the bibliographical details for a book from the catalogue records. This is especially helpful when they have returned the book and forgotten to complete their references.
They also love interactive news items like videos and Find-a-Words – but I change them all the time!
How would you describe Accessit in one word?
Accessible (for everyone – users and staff alike).