Librarian Talk – Lori Davis – Harmony ISD
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 Lori Davis – District Librarian – Harmony ISD about her library’s and the types of challenges that she faces being a district librarian.
Superhero of choice
Levar Burton. But I guess that’s probably not the type of superhero you’re asking about. 🙂 So, Shuri from Black Panther.
Tell us about your library! What makes it unique?
As cheesy as it may sound, the patrons make the library unique because the library is built around them, or at least that’s what I’ve tried to do. I’ve made many changes to each campus library this past year to better serve the population. The elementary campus serves PK-3, the intermediate 4-5, the junior high 6-8, and the high school 9-12. The elementary campus holds mainly picture books with a smaller section of chapter books. This library also has the most consistent schedule besides the junior high. Students come each week to return and checkout books and have a lesson once a month. The intermediate has no schedule, but students come through the doors all day long. The junior high students come twice a month for a lesson, but I only teach there once a month so that I can be at all libraries throughout the district. The high school library has the lowest rate of checkouts, but I’m hoping to change that with Accessit Library and a bit of a facelift.
What is a challenge that you faced in your library recently?
As with many responses, choosing one is difficult, but one that affects all campuses is getting patrons to use the catalog. Our previous catalog was quite dull and looked almost like an early DOS system. Students felt that it was clunky and didn’t want to use it. Some didn’t even know we had a catalog they could use.
How did Accessit Library help you solve this challenge?
Accessit’s Web App makes searching the catalog MUCH easier. There are book cover images, thorough summaries, reviews, etc. without a huge extra fee just to display images. Though the challenge isn’t completely solved, I know that it will vastly improve once students are back in school and can checkout physical books again.
How has your attitude changed towards the challenge you solved with Accessit Library, now that you’ve worked through it?
It no longer seems like a challenge. Every challenge looks a bit different once you find the right tool to fix it. I’m empowered to showcase Accessit Library’s capabilities with students and staff so they can see the vast amount of resources available to them.
What do you like the most about Accessit Library?
The people! Every single person I’ve worked with from my first email from Bonnie to my current training with Linda has been an absolute pleasure. David and Dominic never once made me feel belittled by my lack of knowledge from their technical side and graciously walked me through steps.
And the Management App. That is a game changer! I love that each section is identified, and users can easily find what they need without switching between multiple tabs. It’s so easy to catalog and change/update resources.
What tips could you give to librarians to help improve their remote learning experience?
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Most people in the profession are probably not as familiar with remote learning. That’s okay. Complete the remote training in small chunks. Find someone who can help you and use TeamViewer. I absolutely love that software, and it’s been an asset while being trained and training others. Also, the Accessit Library Customer Portal is your friend. The videos and articles are incredibly helpful.
Here are stories from other American librarians making the most of their library management system that may be of interest to you:
Toni Vahlsing — Abington Friends School
Barbara Krainik – Burgundy Farm Country Day School