Kay Morfett – Librarian - Rolleston School
Kay Morfett – Librarian – Rolleston School, NZ
If you were a superhero, who would you be?
It would have to be someone like the Black Widow from The Avengers Infinity War, not only because that is a film I watched during lockdown and can therefore recall the name easily! But because she is a strong, modern, independent female, with attitude and a great physique without being girly.
Tell us about your library! What makes it unique?
Our library is the most amazingly, welcoming place! When visitors come into our space, they admire how lovely and bright and modern and most of all, loved our library is. There are posters everywhere and books to see and draw you in to every place you look.
We have a good wealth of resources for our large school and we ensure we cater for everyone. Our library has places to hide and read, or socialise and browse books, we have a room to relax in with cuddly toys and board games, Chromebooks and a puzzle board for break times. We have lots of displays to encourage reading and student librarians to help keep everything nice and tidy. There is an iPad with our Web App for browsing and a reservation system on hand for students to request books or to suggest purchases. Everything revolves around encouraging children to read and to enjoy the experience and time they have in the library. A dull space does not excite children or teachers to utilise our library; our entrance has a foyer which enables me to make huge displays to motivate and amaze everyone before they even enter.
Our library constantly changes to keep the wow factor and to stay up to date, it is an area I am proud of.
What is a challenge that you faced in your library recently?
A reduction of hours has been the biggest obstacle because I can no longer do my job to the best of my ability. Time is always a struggle in a school library, despite people joking it is just reading and shelving books, there is so much more to do.
How did Accessit Library help you solve this challenge?
Accessit is always making changes to the LMS which is great because they often make jobs a lot quicker. I am absolutely loving the new YouTube add on for the Web App as it means I have more options than just adding a page using Source. It’s so fast, and so simple! I also really appreciate, after having lots of tech issues with new students, that we have automated updates from E-tap as you have made one task much shorter to do!
How has your attitude changed towards the challenge you solved with Accessit Library, now that you’ve worked through it?
Accessit Library has enabled me to become more efficient, for example, with students I get a daily notification if there are changes so I can deal with that change straight away. Before it was a weekly job for me to do, I feel I spend less time doing it now and it is one less thing for me to remember! I secretly smile when staff say I am so on the ball, little do they know it is not me but Accessit telling me there is a new student!
What do you like the most about Accessit Library?
It is easy to use, looks good, it is flexible and is kept up to date with technology. You do not have to be a technical genius to work out the Web App, but if you are, you can take your page to a whole new level. there are so many different items you can now add and I love using it to showcase our resources.
What tips could you give to librarians to help improve their remote learning experience?
I know you will roll your eyes librarians, but find time. Put time aside, lock yourself in your office with a ‘do not disturb’ (even if you cannot find the book you really need now!) or a ‘yes, I will make you a snack (when I am finished kids!)’ sign on your door and allow yourself time to learn.
Watch the videos, look at other Web Apps to gather ideas, join groups on Facebook, do not be afraid to give yourself time to learn. Accessit has so much to offer and it is a great way to be able to interact with classes, teachers and students. Every year I have all classes from year 2 and up in the library for a demo on how the Web App works and depending on the age I then go on to teach research skills etc. using One Search. You do not need to take it that far, but if you want to feel a part of your organisation, to showcase what you can do, broaden your skill set or just get your library up to date, you have to provide yourself with the time to make a start.
Here are stories from other New Zealand librarians making the most of their school library management software that may be of interest to you: