Well it’s been well over a year since I last posted anything to this blog. So I have rather a lot to catch up on! The reason for my digital desert of absence has been the arrival of my very cute and very time consuming daughter, Thea. Set to be 1 year old next week, she has turned my world upside down.
Now I am back at work though my focus has shifted to my other baby, the Hobsonville Point Secondary School library. For the past year Leigh has admirably continued to develop our collection and kept things ticking over nicely. But now it’s time for a boost of inspiration and re-invigoration; which brings me to the subject of this blog post, inductions and intrinsic motivation.
For the past few weeks I have been contemplating how we can ensure that our students and staff get the most out of our digital and physical library spaces. We have everything ready and available. But we have missed the boat in terms of clearly communicating to our school community how to use the various platforms. You can lead a horse to water but can’t force it to drink etc.
I believe that buy-in will only occur if our community sees the innate value of the library for their learning programmes. This starts with a good induction programme. What do the students/staff NEED to know in order to use the library resources to their full capacity?
2017 will see a shift in our focus to building our community’s capacity to use our online and physical resources. So the first question is what do we use and what do they need to know about?
First we needed a launchpad site for our online resources. In our case we have spent time developing and refining a google site which holds the majority of the information about our library and links out to our other platforms. Whilst other libraries tend to use their cataloguing system as a launchpad, we prefer the Google site. On the front page (as pictured below) we have links to our catalogue (Oliver), Facebook page, Twitter Feed & Overdrive E-Book readers. The links all open in a new tab which enables our users to return easily to the Google site.
Another feature I like about Google sites is the ease with which I can embed documents, forms & pictures from my drive. The best part is that I can update the document in Google Drive and it will also show the updated version on my Library site. This is particularly good when you have living documents such as book requests, booking sheets, borrowing policies and in our case librarian licenses.
On the same site we also have several announcement pages, we use these for book reviews, posting events and adding cool websites. It works like a rolling news feed where each post is searchable and appears in the order which they were added. The feed can also be subscribed to by our users who can get the feed sent to their email (using sites like https://www.feedmyinbox.com/).
The next question is how can users get the most out of our cataloguing site, Oliver? Oliver has great features like the ability to create lists, it’s easy for staff and students to manage their loans/accounts and to find resources. But it does take time to get your head around how to search it effectively. For example we have two campuses sharing the same catalogue, how do you know from the search page whether the resource you want is in the secondary library or the primary one? How do you request a book? How can you find the book in the physical collection once you’ve located it online?
I take all of these things for granted as I live and breath them on a daily basis, but I forgot that it is not normal or natural for others. So our induction has to cover these skills explicitly.
So far I have the following items on my induction programme:
- Google Site (Add link to Hobsonline Homepage)
- EPIC databases
- Overdrive E-Book Platform
- borrower policy
- Understand how to use the webprint function for the HPSS Printers
- How to issue and return books
- Find fiction using the genre system
- How to find non-fiction
- Use Oliver to request a book
- Develop a shared treaty/set of guidelines for the use of the library
What items do you have on your induction/introduction to your library?
Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.