Snapshot of a School Library During COVID-19 #21
K. Garton, Teacher Librarian - Head of Library at MacKillop College VIC, shares the strategies the library has used to the support the school community during COVID-19 restrictions.
School Libraries and COVID19
The focus of our Library throughout COVID19 has been to support and provide resources for teachers and students in their remote learning environments, and to assist College Leadership where needed.
Before the implementation of remote learning, our Library staff came up with the idea of adding an extra component to our Library page and further LibGuides, which we labelled Boredom Busters. They are bright red, bold and centred for easy access. On these LibGuides students were able to access places such as online museums and galleries, complete fun activities, access eBooks for reading, access music and theatre, attend virtual events and creative activities and engage in weekly trivia competitions. The idea being that once lessons were completed, they had somewhere to go and something to do.
Our library catalogue remained open over the remote learning period so browsing and borrowing could continue throughout – the condition being that students would to access the school for physical collection of their borrowings. Reading challenges for our Year 7 cohort have also continued with students being challenged to produce creative reviews, and the Premiers’ Reading Challenge has been advertised and taken on board by many with their reading time being inadvertently increased due to isolation.
Research assistance, resource provision for those in need and general support for students and staff have been the forefront of Library focus, along with maintaining reading as a pursuit. The majority of staff have worked remotely but one Teacher Librarian and one Library Technician have remained on campus to see to the needs of the students who were unable to work remotely.
Throughout the COVID-19 experience, the Library has continued to maintain its central role in provision of support for students and staff, be they in print or online format, or even the physical presence on campus. This supports the sustained view that the Library is an important and vital connection within the school and that College Leadership value our role in the community.
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