Snapshot of a School Library During COVID-19 #23
Karen Williamson, Acting Librarian at Monash College, shares the work the library has done to the support the college community during COVID-19.
What has been the focus for your school library/role during the COVID-19 Crisis?
Many resources/supplementary materials have been added to the library homepage for students to access remotely. Main focus has been on making resources accessible to students and ensuring they know how to find the Library in its online format and continue to access resources.
What major tasks have you achieved?
Making the online presence of the Library easy for students to find, by having it present as a link every page of their Moodle platform.
What has been the result for staff and/or students?
Staff have used the library more during the College shutdown, in requesting resources to assist in their online delivery of classes. Due to Covid-19 there are many more resources being made available for free (previously fee for service) which has assisted teachers, and shown them how useful the library staff are in locating resources. Students have taken advantage of being able to email the library mailbox in asking to assistance with searching queries in databases (previously done face-to-face) and in asking library staff assistance in checking references and being guided to Useful sites to help them with their Referencing in the future.
What reactions did you get from students/teachers/school leaders/parents to what the library staff were doing?
Every year we have a Business Studies cohort requiring Industry Reports to enable them to complete an assessment. These reports are only available from Ibisworld which we cannot justify subscribing to due to cost. This year I got the same request to supply these Industry Report, only this time I was able to satisfy this request. On searching the National Library of Australia I found they were available through the State Library of Victoria. All our students are VSL members, so supplied this information to the Discipline Leader and all the Business Students accessed the reports relevant to their assignment topic making the task more interesting to them, rather than writing on a topic they had no interest in. The Discipline Leader was ecstatic that she could provide this information to the student cohort, which also meant that this year the students didn't all have to share the same Industry Reports that are now out of date. The teachers also were marking papers on a variety of topics rather than the one shared topic.
What other information would you like us to know?
The downside of the Covid-19 shutdown is that the 5 staff have been made redundant due to the College not having students in the country. Monash College provides English language courses to international students across 5, 10 & 20 week courses. With the borders shutdown there has been a significant reduction to enrolements, therefore the staff are no longer required within the Library. This leaves only one Librarian working 0.8 fraction.
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