Librarian Talk – Donna Harris – Great Baddow High School
I am one of the Assistant Librarians at Great Baddow High School. We are very lucky to have three librarians here. My main role is to create displays to advertise all the amazing books and events which we hold in the library and to keep our Accessit Web App up to date. My interests include reading (how can anyone be a librarian and not read!), playing computer games and spending time walking the dog with my family.
Donna Harris – Assistant Librarian – Great Baddow High School – Chelmsford, UK
If you were a superhero, who would you be?
Such a difficult question! There are so many amazing characters out there, but I guess if I had to pick one it would probably be Atticus Finch for his determination in doing the right thing no matter how difficult.
Tell us about your library! What makes it unique?
Our library isn’t just for students, staff also use our library to borrow books as well as take part in our staff book discussion group. Students love to see members of staff popping in during their break times too. Our students also feel that our library is a very safe environment and love to come along to our clubs to make new friends. We are also an award-winning library holding the gold award from the Schools Library Service.
What is a challenge that you faced in your library recently?
With the closure of schools, we have faced the huge challenge of how to help our students during lockdown. For the library this has included finding ways to enable students to carry on doing the activities they love. For example, finding books students can read online and accessing information to help with homework.
How did Accessit Library help you solve this challenge?
Accessit helped tremendously by being able to put links on to a wide range of information. For example, linking the First News newspaper which our students love to read, including online editions of the A-level review magazines we subscribe to and a sway of information to help during lockdown.
Being able to put all this information and more on our front pages helps students locate the information they need much quicker.
How has your attitude changed towards the challenge you solved with Accessit Library, now that you’ve worked through it?
Yes, being able to put all the information students need in one place is perfect and much easier for the students.
What do you like the most about Accessit Library?
The Web App is amazing! You can do so much with it and it looks very modern for the students which means they are keener to use it. Being able to keep students up to date with the latest information and newest books all in one place is perfect. We are quite new to Accessit and still learning and every day we find something new which we can use Accessit for.
What tips could you give to librarians to help improve their remote learning experience?
Keep in touch with your students and find out what they need, or what information they are struggling to find.
If you were part of the changeover process, what was it about Accessit Library that made you choose it over others?
The fact that the Web App was so user friendly and looks so good. We wanted something our students would be interested to look at rather than see it just as a database.
Here are stories from other school librarians in the United Kingdom making the most of their library management software that may be of interest to you:
Gabrielle Wales – Broadland High Ormiston Academy
Gemma Sosnowsky – Queen Elizabeth School
Sasha Roth – Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School
Sally Baker – Durrington High School