Librarian Talk – Mary McGavin – Fulham Prep School

Librarian Talk – Mary McGavin – Fulham Prep School

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 Mary McGavin, school librarian from Fulham Prep School about how she makes the most of Accessit Library.
“I am the school librarian at Fulham Prep and have been for almost 7 years! I sort of fell into the role having originally started working at the school as a supply teaching assistant. I was asked to be based in the library and have loved my time there ever since. I enjoy travelling, both around London, the country and the world and have really missed it this year. During the first lockdown I took up cross-stitching and am still painstakingly working on the first quarter of a large scene! Last year I undertook a course in teaching children with specific learning difficulties. Despite COVID-19 making everything difficult, I was able to complete the course and am now teaching children on a one to one basis. I’ve found that it’s been really helpful with my work in the library too which is an added bonus! “
Mary McGavin

School Librarian, Fulham Prep School, UK

What character in a book has influenced you the most?

I cannot pinpoint one character but the book that has influenced me and my role as librarian is ‘The Giggler Treatment’ by Roddy Doyle. It never fails to make even the most reluctant of readers laugh and reminds me that nothing is more important than reading for pleasure.

Tell us about your library! What makes it unique?

The library is in a large room in the middle of the school and it really does feel like the heart of the school. Last year, our library was transformed from a more traditional library will aisles of shelves to a tree-themed haven. We have a huge free-standing tree, a treehouse mezzanine area where the children enjoy cosying up on a bean bag with a good book and lots of snug-like areas. Aside from its appearance, I strive to make the library a welcoming environment, both for those who have already found the joy in reading and those who haven’t quite discovered it yet.

What is a challenge that you faced in your library recently?

It has to be shutting the library to visitors in March due to the first lockdown and navigating a click and delivery service since term began in September.

How did Accessit Library help you solve this challenge?

We moved our library management system over to Accessit Library during the summer which couldn’t have been more perfectly timed! It’s difficult to know how our library functioned properly before without the online presence it has now. It crucially has allowed the children to browse the library shelves online and continue to borrow books and get excited about reading.

How has your attitude changed towards the challenge you solved with Accessit Library, now that you’ve worked through it?

Considering this current environment and its impact on the school, if we were still with our previous library management system it would’ve been impossible to allow the students to borrow books from the library. What we have now is a fully functioning click and delivery system – whilst it’s not the same as having the children browse the physical bookshelves, it has solved the issue and I can’t see how Accessit Library can make it any easier! One child even commented that the click and delivery service is better than Amazon.

What do you like the most about Accessit Library?

I absolutely love the Web App – how you can curate it to suit your students, the events going on within the school and most importantly to publicise anything and everything book related. Gone are the days of putting up posters around school and the blu tack promptly being nabbed by small hands!

How does Accessit Library support the academic outcomes of your school?

It helps to set the children up with a love for reading, something they can talk passionately about when at interviews for their next school.

A lockdown success story

Mary is one of many librarians around the world that has used Accessit Library to facilitate learning and supplementing online lessons during lockdown. She is what we call a ‘lockdown success story’ and is one of hundreds of schools operating the library as close to business as usual as possible thanks to technology.

Barker College is another lockdown success story. Read their story by clicking this link.

Here are more stories from other school librarians in the United Kingdom making the most of their library management software that may be of interest to you:

Poonampal Kaur – Sarah Bonnell School

Donna Harris – Great Baddow High School

Gemma Sosnowsky – Queen Elizabeth School

Sasha Roth – Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School

Sally Baker – Durrington High School

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