Snapshot of a School Library During COVID-19 #19

School libraries during covid

Debra McGhee, Teacher Librarian at St Teresa's Catholic College, QLD, shares what she and her team have been doing to support students and staff during COVID-19.

What has been the focus for your school library/role during the COVID-19 Crisis?
We want to ensure students and staff continue to access our quality library services in an online environment, so that our community has books and other resources for academic and recreational reading.


What major tasks have you achieved?
We are very busy providing access to quality online resources through our LearnPath Guides, including databases, ebooks, articles, Clickview videos and websites, chosen to resource specific units of work and assessment tasks. To assist students with using the LearnPath, I create videos of lessons that unpack research tasks and provide information for research and referencing skills. I create videos reading aloud picture books and incorporating three level reading guides. We also provide access to books through our Drive Through Books service, where students can request specific titles, or a an interest area, and library staff deliver book bags to the car, or have them ready for collection. Students are also using Sora for ebooks and audio books, with library staff providing assistance where necessary. We have continued our Library Fun activities by setting up a Teams group for interested students. So far we have had our usual Friday Kahoots and Book Clubs in this way, promoted the Premier's Reading Challenge, shared book-related competitions, a quarantine reading challenge and online games including chess, in preparation for our Chess Challenge that will happen when school resumes. Library staff have completed the usual admin tasks such as the usual cataloguing and processing, and also had time to tidy up the library catalogue.


What reactions did you get from students/teachers/school leaders/parents to what the library staff were doing?
We have received a number of emails and phone calls from students and parents, thanking us for making books available to students. The local newspaper did a story on our Drive Through Books service. Heads of Department and teachers are very appreciative of our efforts to support the academic learning of our students and the students who are participating in our Library Fun Teams are excited to have our usual fun activities online. Student feedback on the Information Literacy lessons has been positive, with an average 4 star rating out of 5 on our Forms feedback.


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



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