Let’s Talk Libraries: Wendy Bamber - Seatoun School
Seatoun School librarian, Wendy Bamber, has been using Accessit Library for 10 years. Amongst many other things, it allows her to streamline her processes and save her time. An example is cataloguing. She feels lucky that as a brand-new librarian she was able to engage with the Accessit Library Support team and be introduced to Accessit Library’s Automated Cataloging from the start.
“If you are going to be a librarian, then you want to be on Accessit Library!”
“Accessit Library’s Automated Cataloguing makes cataloguing a new book so easy. When a student sees a new book waiting to be catalogued, I know I can have it catalogued within a minute in order for them to issue it out. I don’t have a huge amount of time to spend on cataloguing, so it’s great that it is so quick to do.”
Automated cataloging also makes cataloging a larger batch very quick and easy.
“Another feature I value is when I order boxes of books from the National Library. I can catalogue a box full and then give it a batch number, for example, “Junior Insects”, then scan them all in very quickly. The Override Type and Replace All facility makes them easily identifiable as National Library when issuing and returning them and makes them accessible to students to borrow. And before I send them all back, I can search for the batch, track down missing items then write them off, just leaving their records in our system which we can draw on for future use.”
Borrower synchronization is another great feature of Accessit’s that has saved Wendy time, allowing her to import and update students’ year level, class and contact details via the student management system ready for the new school year, which Wendy says is “always easier than anticipated.”
The students at Seatoun School are familiar with issuing, returning and reserving books in the library as a result of Wendy teaching students from Year 3 to search the catalogue properly.
“They all have a session with me in the library from year 3, with their iPads in front of them which they use to practice searching the library catalogue via the Web App. I give them treasure hunt targets, for example “A fiction book about adventure”. Once they have conducted a search and chosen a title, they go and find the book in the library based on what the search has told them. I give most classes exercises in using this at least once per term to ensure they remember how to do it and they actually become very competitive about it! It is also a great tool for discovering new books they haven’t tried before.
This work has paid off as students enjoy reserving books from their favorite series or subject matter.
“Our students love to reserve books, either the next in the series they are reading or the new books I show them or what they see their friends reading. They are taught this from Year 3 onwards and they continue to use this through to Year 8. They also access the catalogue from home and the large number of reserves shows me how engaged they are.”
Accessit Library also enables the students to view their reading history, which Wendy says they find highly amusing, “especially as they get to the end of their time at our school and we spend a session reminiscing.”
“One Search has been really excellent. For the Science Fair I was able to add on a couple of relevant databases for the students and it makes it very easy for them to search via a platform they know well. Next term will be focused on History, so I will add other databases like Papers Past for that. Nothing is permanent and you are able to add which databases work best for you and your school, tying the school resources in nicely with what’s going on.”
And of course, throughout all of her career, the Accessit Library Support team has helped Wendy easily solve problems, save time and even run the library from home when necessary. Wendy offered kind thoughts on our Support team, saying:
“My experiences as a librarian from the start has involved the Accessit Library Support team. They are always available and incredibly patient, and nothing is too much trouble, ever. They confidently connect to my computer, jumping in and helping me out, which is so helpful and reassuring when things are busy. Sometimes you just don’t have the time to get the full explanation or it be a teaching opportunity and you simply need to be told how to get it done. They are great at that. They are always prepared to connect remotely to my PC and find the cause of a problem, which is usually adjusting settings or helping me make better use of the software. Sometimes a job that could have taken all day to do just gets done.
During Lockdown last year, it was awesome that one of the team helped me install Accessit on my home computer which meant I was able to see my library catalogue remotely. I now have it on my MacBook which means I can work from home during the holidays if I wish. Also, I could rely on the system if we went into Lockdown again.
It’s really handy to access Accessit remotely. I am able to get on the system, chase people up and complete admin tasks. If I know books are set to arrive during the holidays then I can catalogue them from home as they arrive. Overall, it is flexible and provides me with choice and flexibility.”