Snapshot of a School Library During COVID-19 #13

School libraries during covid

Peta Harrison, teacher librarian at Albany Senior High School, shares what has been happening in the school library during COVID-19

The reaction to the pandemic has been very different in schools and their libraries as one would expect as we are all starting from different places. In our library we decided at the beginning to follow public library protocols and restrict borrowing to students of print material. Any material that was on loan will remain thus until things normalise. Staff are working onsite and thus still have access to print resources. We loan text books so spent some time loaning these out to students who required them.

My role changed dramatically from being the provider of print material to sourcing online material for students and staff and we are grateful to all those publishers and website owners who have so generously given schools access to their information. I have added numerous additional sites to our library catalogue as well as evaluating the numerous offers to refine the list to a manageable size for staff and students. I am also working with our Exec team to provide support to staff who are working in the online world to a degree not experienced before- this entails creating how to sheets and videos and creating personal learning for a range of abilities and learning areas.

When we get back to school, that assistance will widen to support parents and students who are having difficulty accessing the IT set by their classroom teachers.

It has been an interesting experience as not only do staff require personal learning they are finally coming to understand that students do not have an inherent knowledge of how to use ICT for work purposes and that more direct teaching of skills including basic research skills, digital terminology is going to be required.

If you would like to let us know what your school library is doing during COVID-19, you can let us know here.