INFOhio loves school libraries! Whether it’s professional development, high-quality supplemental resources for teaching and learning, or access to library software, whatever your needs, INFOhio is here to help. April has been designated School Library Month by the American Association of School Librarians. Every April, school librarians are encouraged to create opportunities to show how important the school library is to not only students and school staff, but the community as well. To help librarians celebrate all that they do and their important role in the school and the community, check out this list of INFOhio resources and activities that librarians can use this month (and every month) to connect with students, school staff, parents, and their communities.
- Become an ICoach and strengthen your knowledge of INFOhio and the no-cost, high-quality resources available to students, teachers, and their families. Being an ICoach allows you to grow your professional network, add to your training toolkit, and become the go-to trainer in your district for professional development on INFOhio tools and resources. School Library Month is a great time to offer professional development on INFOhio tools and resources in the form of lunch and learns, newsletters, meeting one on one with teachers, and more. If you aren’t an ICoach, applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Complete the ICoach Application and get started!
- Take a moment and join INFOhio’s Open Space. Open Space is a platform for educators to create, share, and discuss a range of educational topics. Resources created and shared in Open Space are freely available to Ohio PreK-12 educators and their students. Librarians can foster a spirit of community and collaboration by joining many of the groups available. The Future Ready Librarians group can help expand your PLN as you join in on the discussion around Future Ready learning activities in the school library. Join the INFOhio Community group to stay informed about INFOhio happenings and participate in the Discussions to share your experience and expertise. Use the Discover drop-down to access Open Educational Resources by subject area and material type. Open Space’s Collections are a group of curated collections on many topics. Those automated with INFOhio’s Library Services Platform will be particularly interested in the ISearch collection. Take a look!
- To celebrate your role as the school librarian and to show off your expertise, plan to host a series of Lunch and Learns and invite colleagues and administrators to join you as you share tips and tricks about helpful tech tools, dive deeper into INFOhio’s no-cost resources, do a series of book talks on new books and resources in the library, or another helpful topic. To get more familiar with some of INFOhio’s resources, be sure to check out recent Learn with INFOhio Webinars:
Sharing this information will be sure to solidify your role as the go-to person for all things reading, research, and supplemental material support.
High-Quality Supplemental Resource Help
- As the school year begins to wind down, it’s a great time to introduce students to book trailers.
Whether you want to dedicate class time for students to create their own book trailers or link existing books in the library to a trailer online with a QR code, both can be accomplished with INFOhio’s Book Nook. Check out Book Nook’s Educators page and explore the Digital Storytelling collection for lesson plans, templates, and rubrics for student-created book trailers and videos. If creating a book trailer isn’t in the plans, use Book Nook to create QR codes that can be printed and added to the physical copy of the book in your library. Students can scan the QR code on the book and watch the trailer!
- Looking for some activities that will help strengthen your students' research skills? Check out World Book webquests by going to the INFOhio website and doing a site search for "webquests". The webquests are downloadable PDFs that introduce (or re-introduce) the World Book database and strengthen students' reading and research skills. Webquests can be found for World Book Kids, Student, and Advanced to support all ages. Webquest topics range from the Middle Ages to Harriet Tubman to Ancient Rome, and many more. Try one of these activities with your students today! EBSCO’s Training Site also offers scavenger hunts, lesson plans, and other curriculum help. Scavenger hunts are available for Literary Reference Center, Science Reference Center, Points of View Reference Center, Explora, and more. A search for webquests and scavenger hunts in Educator Tools provides many results, from Dogs to Dr. Seuss to New Zealand and more. Take some time this month to take a look and share these resources with your teachers and students.
- To help promote the use of the school library catalog and INFOhio resources, don’t forget there are INFOhio bookmarks and flyers that can be printed and distributed to students, their families, and school staff. A number of the bookmarks and flyers can be customized with your district username and password for easy access at home. These are perfect for parent-teacher conferences, daily checkout in the library, back-to-school nights, STEM nights, open houses, or bulletin boards.
Access to Library Services Platform
- Need to get out from behind the circulation desk? Do you only see certain classes a few times a semester? If you are automated with INFOhio’s Library Services Platform (LSP), you have access to MobileStaff, a mobile-based circulation application that integrates directly with your existing catalog. With MobileStaff not only can you circulate materials but you can also inventory, weed, manage holds, and much more! With its browser and app-based setup, a wide variety of devices can be used so that you can get out from behind the circulation desk and go mobile with MobileStaff. With MobileStaff you can visit classrooms with carts of books they otherwise may have limited time and access to. This provides an opportunity to do a quick lesson or book talk and get books in the hands of students. Give it a try this month and see your circulation statistics go up!
- School Library Month is a month of celebration for school librarians. What better way to celebrate than to brag about how much your students are using the catalog and INFOhio resources? For those automated with INFOhio’s LSP, you receive monthly circulation statistics automatically. To find out the usage of INFOhio Resources, check out INFOhio’s Resource Use Data site. Here you can find usage data on a variety of INFOhio resources like BookFlix, PebbleGo Next, ChiltonLibrary, INFOhio website logins, and more. Use your statistics to create an infographic or other report to give to your administrators. Include stories from students and teachers to help show that statistics are only part of the story— fostering a love of reading and supporting students in their educational goals are essential parts of what the library and school librarian provide so don’t forget to toot your horn in various ways. Check out the blog, Your Library By the Numbers, for further tips on how to share the value of your library.
- Another idea to help celebrate School Library Month is to strengthen your collaborative muscles. BLUEcloud Course Lists, a resource list management tool available to those automated with INFOhio’s LSP, can be used to create lists of resources that teachers can use to help supplement their curriculum. Reach out to a teacher and find out what resources they are most looking for between now and the end of the school year. Take some time to curate a list of high-quality resources that will keep your teachers coming back for more all year long. To learn more about BLUEcloud Course Lists, check out this three-part blog series: Collaborate and Curate with BLUEcloud Course Lists, or watch the latest Bundle Up with BLUEcloud Course Lists webinar. Happy curating!
Thank you school librarians for the tireless work you do each and every day to transform teaching and impact learning through your work in and outside the school library. Share with INFOhio how you plan to celebrate School Library Month by including #INFOhioWorks in your social media posts during April. We’d love to celebrate with you!