Librarian Talk – Sasha Roth – Bishop's Hatfield Girls' School
I’m senior librarian at a girls’ state school in Hertfordshire, England. Clearly being a librarian, I love books, but that passion for books and reading has always been part of my working life as I previously worked in publishing. I love spending time with my family and going for long dog walks, especially when it’s possible to follow it with a lazy pub lunch.
Sasha Roth – Senior Librarian – Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School – UK
Superhero of choice
Pippi Longstocking was my absolute idol growing up. She’s fierce, independent, quick-witted, unconventional and resilient.
Tell us about your library! What makes it unique?
Our library is a warm, open, bright and light inviting space that welcomes all visitors. We love seeing students and staff using the library and host book clubs and board game clubs in it during lunchtimes. We make great use of displays and posters to really capture the attention of visitors and encourage a love of reading for pleasure. We want to ‘wow’ students and foster and encourage a love of reading and of libraries in general.
What is a challenge that you faced in your library recently?
The closure of schools due to COVID-19 has obviously challenged school libraries into finding new ways to keep in touch with students. However, librarians are so uniquely positioned to do this with clever library software, and we have certainly embraced this opportunity to respond creatively.
How did Accessit Library help you solve this challenge?
The Accessit Web App is amazing! It is super user-friendly and highly engaging for students. Being able to communicate regularly through it with our students by showcasing our resources is a game-changer. We are able to constantly update the home page, attach links for other sites, add PDFs and SWAYs, author videos – the list goes on! We’re only limited by our imaginations (and time!). Being able to add PDFs and websites to the database is incredible too and has meant that we’ve been able to ensure we can get resources out to students, even though not in the traditional ‘physical’ format.
The ability to import eBooks from Wheelers into Accessit Library so seamlessly has been an incredibly useful tool during school closures too.
How has your attitude changed towards the challenge you solved with Accessit Library, now that you’ve worked through it?
I love that the Web App is so easy to customise, it means that I can regularly and easily update content in just a few small steps. The catalogue is easy to manage, and I love that you can ‘tidy’ past errors from old LMSs so easily.
What do you like the most about Accessit Library?
Absolutely everything! It is so user-friendly, easy to update, intuitive and accurate. I’ve just completed my first stock take using it and I loved that I could amend resource or copy records as I was doing it if I spotted any errors. Cataloguing is quick and efficient and the whole system has completely changed our day-to-day working life – most definitely for the better! The customer service is also second to none. Always been quick to respond and help find solutions.
What tips could you give to librarians to help improve their remote learning experience?
The remote learning experience is fluid, you can never be done with learning, New topics are added constantly so take the time to go back and watch new content. Sometimes making the time is the hardest thing to do. I’ve learnt a huge amount during school closures but know that there’s still more to do and learn. Ask students what features they like best on the Web App – they may not be the same as yours – as they’re the end-user we need to remember to listen to their views.
Here are stories from other school librarians in the United Kingdom making the most of their library management system that may be of interest to you:
Gabrielle Wales – Broadland High Ormiston Academy
Gemma Sosnowski – Queen Elizabeth School
Sally Baker – Durrington High School
Donna Harris – Great Baddow High School