Librarian Talk – Delia Achten – Ashburton College
I am the library manager at Ashcoll and I come to librarianship from a background, pre-family, in the pharmaceutical industry. I have a science honours degree and grandparented into RLIANZA when that opportunity was offered to us. I am married to a dairy vet and have three adult sons. Apart from my family, my interests are reading, gardening, yoga, sewing and knitting and shiny new notebooks!
Delia Achten, Library Manager at Ashburton College – NZ
What character in a book has influenced you the most?
Whatever book I last read! From recent reading, Tara Westover from ‘Educated’ reminds me that being a lifelong learner is not just about education or opportunity but about curiosity, perseverance and being true to yourself. From my childhood, Winnie the Pooh reminds me that you must value your friends and not eat too much honey!
Tell us about your library! What makes it unique?
Ashcoll library is a tiny, concrete block space that we have filled to capacity with student voice, light and resources! I believe it is our staff that makes us unique; we have a fabulous TLR who constantly asks, ‘why not?’, creativity in buckets, constancy and the capacity to respond to the changing needs of our students and teachers.
What is a challenge that you faced in your library recently?
The Covid lockdown required the library to operate in a new and responsive way while in Lockdown and at Covid level 2, when we returned to operating within the Level 2 restrictions.
How did Accessit Library help you solve this challenge?
Accessit provided the perfect platform to reach out to staff and students alike. Our home page became a jumping off point for students to find resources for their inquiry topics as well as digital reading and audiobooks. We were able to modify this as time progressed to include and remove news items as needed.
How has your attitude changed towards the challenge you solved with Accessit Library, now that you’ve worked through it?
The Covid pandemic has shifted the attention of many of our teaching staff to the services the library team can provide after I was able to enable the resourcing of their inquiries by remote using a single platform. It has become a fabulous opportunity for us to promote how we can assist in teaching and learning.
What do you like the most about Accessit Library?
Oh, where to start? Accessit is to librarianship what slices are to bread! Software can be written and modified but relationships need to be worked at; this is what I like most about Accessit. The team at Accessit work hard at their relationships with clients and maintaining a two-way share of information. The Roadshow each year is my most valuable Professional Development.
How does Accessit Library support the academic outcomes of your school?
We use our database to provide scaffold documents to students as active PDFs that are available 24/7 or can be dropped into a Google classroom by teachers. We can tag items with search terms specific for inquiry topics or create reading lists for them. We use reading lists to support reading. We use our home page constantly to support info lit, reading, inquiry as well as to put items of interest in front of students.
Each librarian has their own unique perspective of life in the library and how they use library software to manage their library systems.
Here are stories from other New Zealand librarians making the most of their school library software that may be of interest to you:
Wendy Wright – Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ High School
Anita Vandenberghe – St Kentigern College
Amy Featonby – Cambridge High School
Lynn Vare – Otago Boys’ High School