I'm excited to have had the opportunity to attend another Librarian-a-like this year. This year Suzhou Singapore International School hosted us. Their beautiful libraries are an inspiration. They are full of ideas, wonderful displays, and collections.
If you are interested in joining in on this type of event contact your IB Coordinator. They receive email notifications alerting them of when these are available nearby for subject teachers and librarians. The two that I have attended have been completely free (lunch included by the host school).
I wanted to share some information with everyone from what I thought were the most valuable learning points for me and resources.
1. Great Resources for finding Call Numbers (Cataloguing):
- for example: Dewey Decimal Classify, Library of Congress Classification System
2. Database Ideas
- Writing Center Resources are excellent (9 writing steps resources, topic ideas, writing tips, videos, etc.)
- Searches are very intuitive & accurate
- great for middle years as well as high school aged students
- individual log ins so students can save individual folders, files, etc. and keep their own resources organized
- Topic Idea Generator - fun spinning wheels to help with finding a topic
This resource looks amazing! I was really impressed with the information we got about this :)
They also have excellent customer service in China.
- one log in for the school/can't create individual log ins?
- daily.jstor.org - beautifully arranged page to find topics (comes with the subscription - no extra cost)
- buy each module on it's own i.e. animals, science, biographies
- great for primary grades
- very visually appealing
The New York Public Library: Digital Collections
Digital Public Library of America
- Chinese and English resources available
International Children's Digital Library
Modern Mrs. Darcy
- podcast, book recommendations - listen to Mrs. ReaderPants!
Free Images - can modify, they don't have copyright restrictions
- Creative Commons Images
3. Library Management Systems
Koha - great open source (free) system - but a it's basic because it is free
- can get catalogued books shipped to you
- great for ebooks and audiobooks (large selection of both - just tricky to find the Audiobooks on titlewave)
It does allow for characters to be used other than English, but we have issues with searching for Chinese titles written in Chinese when looking for books to purchase on Titlewave (ebooks, print, audiobooks, etc.). We have tried using pin yin or Chinese characters themselves but are unable to successfully search in these languages, even though there are some materials available in these languages. Limiters need to be used instead (on the left hand side of a book search page).
To find the Audiobooks:
1) Go to Titlewave.com - create an account - free - but you need to wait for them to email you back to confirm your account - can take a couple of business days to do
2) Go to advanced search
3) Click the audiovisual (blue tab at the top)
4) After scrolling down to the bottom and doing a search without any limiters you will get a search result page that looks something like this:
4. MLA Citation Style in Other Languages
We discussed what we should do when trying to adapt MLA citation style to other languages. Since we are in China, the Chinese language was primarily discussed.
Our school uses RefME as a citation style generator. We use this for our Chinese citations as well. We have searched around online and asked other Chinese librarians and have been unable to find anything equivalent in Chinese. RefME works quite well in Chinese though. The only minor annoyance being that we have the students manually remove English characters used for short forms (for example: ed. for edition, p. or pp. for page number(s), etc.) and they replace these with the Chinese character that has the same meaning. This is minorly annoying, but still 100x better than how I was manually creating entire citations just a few years ago.
Additionally, Follett has a new version 14 so use the new Destiny Discover app instead of Brytewave for digital versions of books
A big thank you, again to the wonderful team at SSIS, this was an awesome opportunity. I'm full of ideas and inspiration to try out new things in my own school library.