Using Your School Library Website in Instruction


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Presented at conference for Iowa Association of School Librarians in Des Moines, Iowa, on April 12, 2010

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  • My experience: working on my website, reading articles, etc.
  • You probably have multiple goals, including promoting 21 st century skills to giving an online presence to your library, but one of your main goals should be to help students learn & succeed & help teachers teach. One of the ways to do this is to focus your website on instruction and supporting instruction.
  • Design is very important, because if you have a quality, easy-to-use design, students & teacher will be able to use your website without specific instruction from you. Self-instruction can be just as important as instruction in the classroom. When designing your website, you should think about what your specific patrons need, but you also need to think like a web designer.
  • Too busy & bright (for my taste), small text, scroll at the top, blinking words at top
  • Nice design—clean & simple; easy to find information; not too bright; maybe get rid of white space?
  • I like this design—bright, filled with information, but not too busy. Good pic of students
  • Good design for kids—good use of images & color; however, it seems a little disorganized, and would need specific instruction for use
  • When designing your website, you need to keep your audience in mind. Many types of people may access your website, but you should design it for your main users (probably your students). For elementary, that means more images and visual cues. For teenagers, Jakob Neilsen condusted a usability study in Australia & the US that found that teens like cool-looking graphics, with a simple, clean design. They don’t like to read a lot, and they like interactive features, such as quizzes, games, message boards, etc. Teachers will simply want things easy to find, since they don’t have much time to begin with.
  • For upper elementary, this website is clean, simple, and well-organized. It has information for parents, students, and teachers, and easy-to-find links.
  • Your website should be easy to use. Navigation should be clearly marked and easy to go back and forth, such as having a “home” link on each page. There should also be consistency on each page so users will be able to always look in the same place for navigation, and will know when they are on the school library website or if they have linked to an outside site.
  • Good: visually appealing, good variety & depth of information; Problem: hard to navigate (long list of links on bottom of first page, rest of pages are in a different design, some without a banner to tell you it is a library page) (Walbert)
  • Navigation is consistent for each page, and it is easy to go from one page to another. It is also a clean and simple design, and students & teachers could use it without too much specific instruction
  • Clipart may be OK for younger elementary, but most students would prefer the visual effect of picture. Choose your images carefully, and be careful with other effects, like sound, flashing words & images, etc. Images take longer to download, so don’t use too many. Use you images to communicate an idea—about how to use the website, about your library, or about your students. Pictures of students are great, but check with your district requirements for posting pictures of students online.
  • Interesting use of images on this site. Fairly small, but sprinkled throughout the home page to break up text and include pictures of students and images of databases
  • Language should be appropriate for your audience: Early elementary--few words, more images; upper elementary—simple language; teens—avoid wordiness; Be consistent with terms throughout the site
  • Content is an important part of your website. Jurkowsi, in another study, found that the most common features on school library websites are: website links, databases, library policies, a link to the library catalog, and websites grouped by subject
  • Library information that you could/should include on your website are your or your district’s mission statement, library policies & procedures, your newsletter, and your curriculum. Library orientation is useful to use within a class setting, or an individual user could learn more about their library.
  • The UNI lab school has a blog separate from their library website, which includes daily thoughts, quotes, videos, pictures, events, and announcements.
  • A fun way to do an orientation of your library is through a video
  • Able to create free screencasts online (Jing &, ; Wink was recommended by School Library Journal (includes both audio & editing option):
  • One of your goals might be to connect students to the resources in your library. You should have a link to your online catalog, and you could have booklists (your own or awards from Newberry, ALA, etc.), and book recommendations from teachers, students, or library staff. Book recommendation can be done through some circulation systems (Destiny), or you could collaborate with teachers to put student book projects of podcasts or videos on your website.
  • This is a website of book reviews, linked to the school library website. Listen to 8 th graders talking about Airborn
  • A majority of your content should be for students. They should include links to online databases and quality websites for research, but they should also include practical support for technology, homework questions, and things to do if they get bored.
  • Use your website as a jump-off for collaboration: -introduce website in class as a way to simplify research -work together to create pathfinders or webquests -use wikis to create lesson plans together -put library calendar online (Google calendar) -offer website as a place to exhibit student projects
  • Pathfinders can be used for a specific assignment, or can be created for commonly used topics, that could be used more than once
  • Information literacy skills for elementary age; tutorials are useful because students can go at their own pace
  • A variety of tutorials on web searching, web evaluation, plagiarism, finding quality sources, and the research process. These are good for junior high & high school, even though it was created for college age
  • Interactives are great to support classroom curriculum, as well as for educational entertainment
  • the If you don’t have a webmaster in your school, you can still create your own library website using a blog site or a website-maker
  • Not blocked through our filter!
  • Created using Weebly
  • There are many lessons you can use in conjunction with your library website. We’ll take a look at just a few
  • From Springfield Township High School Library
  • This orientation packet includes a map, information on how to use the online catalog and online databases, and worksheets for students to complete for credit in a specific class
  • Springfield Township has multiple pages of links of activities and resources promoting information literacy
  • Research process options: Big 6, Lesson plan: Do a research project (collaborate with teachers)
  • Webquest on plagiarism; lesson plans on intellectual property should include information on the definitions of intellectual property, academic integrity, copyright, and plagiarism, and how to avoid plagiarism through organization, paraphrasing, citations, and bibliographies or bibliography-makers
  • Using Your School Library Website in Instruction

    1. 1. Using Your Library Website in Instruction Kenya Arrants Madrid Community Schools [email_address]
    2. 2. Create a Website FOR Instruction <ul><li>What are your goals for your website? </li></ul><ul><li>Promote your library </li></ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Share student work </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum support </li></ul><ul><li>Instruction </li></ul>Overall Goal: Help students learn & teachers teach
    3. 3. Design <ul><li>Visit other school library websites </li></ul><ul><li>Clean & simple </li></ul><ul><li>Considerations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Images </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Language/text </li></ul></ul><ul><li>School library websites: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries on the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Resources for School Librarians </li></ul>
    4. 4. Redwood High School
    5. 5. University Laboratory High School
    6. 6. Thomas Dale High School
    7. 7. Grandview Library
    8. 8. Audience <ul><li>Students </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Administrators </li></ul><ul><li>Parents </li></ul>Jakob Nielsen, “Usability of Websites for Teenagers”
    9. 9. Crystal Lawns Elementary
    10. 10. Navigation <ul><li>Website should be easy to navigate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clearly marked </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organized </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Springfield Township High School Virtual Library
    12. 12. Walter Reed Middle School
    13. 13. Images <ul><li>Use photos rather than clipart </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change as often as possible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Limit number of images and other effects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take longer to download </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate an idea </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Copyright/privacy issues </li></ul>
    14. 14. Esquimalt High School
    15. 15. Language/text <ul><li>Use easy-to-read font </li></ul><ul><li>Age-level appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Terminology </li></ul><ul><li>Best practice: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid confusing terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use natural language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be consistent </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Odin Jurkowski, “School Library Web Site Terminology” <ul><li>Best terms: </li></ul><ul><li>Books (NOT OPAC or library catalog) </li></ul><ul><li>Articles (NOT Databases) </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Sites OR Internet Research (NOT Web sites, Reference Links, or Research Resources) </li></ul><ul><li>Bibliography Guide OR Citation Help (NOT Citing Sources) </li></ul>
    17. 17. Content <ul><li>Library information </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Common features on school library websites (Jurkowski, “School Library Website Components”): </li></ul><ul><li>Website links 79% </li></ul><ul><li>Databases 76% </li></ul><ul><li>Policies 47% </li></ul><ul><li>OPAC 35% </li></ul><ul><li>Websites by subject 35% </li></ul><ul><li>Awards 29% </li></ul><ul><li>Mission 18% </li></ul><ul><li>Calendar/schedule 15% </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment 15% </li></ul>
    18. 18. Library Information <ul><li>Mission statement </li></ul><ul><li>Library policies </li></ul><ul><li>Library orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Library events & announcements </li></ul><ul><li>Newsletter </li></ul><ul><li>Information literacy curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Staff information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact information </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Blog: University Laboratory High School
    20. 20. Orientation Video: Students
    21. 21. Orientation Video: Librarian <ul><li> </li></ul>
    22. 22. Tutorials
    23. 23. Connect online to print <ul><li>Online catalog </li></ul><ul><li>Book reviews & booklists </li></ul><ul><li>Book recommendations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers, students, library staff, etc. </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Podcasts: Brookline Book Reviews
    25. 25. Content for Students <ul><li>Online databases </li></ul><ul><li>Quality websites </li></ul><ul><li>Homework help </li></ul><ul><li>Research process </li></ul><ul><li>Educational entertainment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities to interact (quizzes, blogs, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online tutorials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Quick reference” sheets </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Content for Teachers <ul><li>Collaboration opportunities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Curriculum support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pathfinders </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson plan ideas, sites, & support </li></ul><ul><li>State curriculum link </li></ul><ul><li>Student projects </li></ul>
    27. 27. Pathfinders: John Newbery Elementary
    28. 28. Online Tutorials
    29. 29. Online Tutorials
    30. 30. Technology Help Cedar Falls High School Library
    31. 31. Interactives: PhET, BAM!,
    32. 32. Do-It-Yourself <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to manage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post images & text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger, Wordpress, Edublogs, Blogspot </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Free website-makers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wix, Weebly </li></ul></ul>
    33. 33. Milpitas High School Library
    34. 34. Huntingtown High School
    35. 35. Casa Grande High School
    36. 36. Lesson Plans in Library Instruction <ul><li>Exploring the library website </li></ul><ul><li>Information literacy skills </li></ul><ul><li>Research & the research process </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual property </li></ul><ul><li>Computer skills </li></ul><ul><li>Sources: </li></ul><ul><li>SOS for Information Literacy </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Resources for School Librarians </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    37. 37. Library Website Scavenger Hunt
    38. 38. Orientation Packet
    39. 39. Information Literacy
    40. 40. Comparing Sources <ul><li>Instruct students to choose a topic </li></ul><ul><li>Students should look up that topic on Google, Nettrekker, EBSCO, & another of their choice (Bing, Altavista, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Students should compare: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevance to topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality of results </li></ul></ul>
    41. 41. Website Evaluation <ul><li>Students choose two websites from two lists </li></ul><ul><li>Students will answer a series of questions about each website, including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is there contact or publishing information? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the copyright date? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the information accurate? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do other sites link to this site? </li></ul></ul> /
    42. 42. Research Process <ul><li>Students will Think-Pair-Share to come up with steps to the research process </li></ul><ul><li>Students will put together a puzzle of the district or class research process steps </li></ul><ul><li>Students will take an online tutorial on steps in the research process </li></ul>
    43. 43. Intellectual Property
    44. 44. Plagiarism for Kids <ul><li>Students spend a few minutes working on a short project using a drawing program </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher will choose a student to print their project, and claim that they did the work of the student </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss meaning of plagiarism </li></ul>
    45. 45. Computer Skills
    46. 46. My Library Site
    47. 47. Resources <ul><li>Baumback, Donna, Sally Brewer, and Matt Renfroe. “What Should Be on a School Library Web Page?” Learning & Leading with Technology . Sept. 2004: 46-51. Academic OneFile . 21 Mar. 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Church, Audrey. “Your Library Goes Virtual: Promoting Reading and Supporting Research.” Library Media Connection . Nov./Dec. 2006: 10-13. EBSCO . 17 June 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Kaldenberg, Kathy, and Deanne Theide. “Designing an Effective School Library Web Site.” ICNschoollibraryweb. Google Sites, 25 Feb. 2010. Web. 1 April 2010 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>Kaun, Tom. Library Websites: Best Practices and New Findings. Redwood High School, 19 Mar. 2010. Web. 20 Mar. 2010 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>“ School Library Websites: Examples of Effective Practice.” Wikispaces . Tangient, 2010. Web. 4 April 2010 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>Valenza, Joyce. A Webquest About School Library Websites. The Webquest Page, 29 June 2007. Web. 19 Mar. 2010 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>Warlick, David. “Building Web Sites That Work for Your Media Center.” Knowledge Quest . Jan./Feb. 2005: 13-15. H.W. Wilson . Web. 20 Mar. 2010. </li></ul>
    48. 48. Acknowledgements <ul><li>Images from </li></ul><ul><li>Franklin, Pat and Claire Gatrell Stephens. “Creating Webpages for the 21 st Century Library Media Center.” School Library Activities Monthly . Nov. 2007: 41-42. </li></ul><ul><li>Horton, Rosemary. Creating a School Library Website . N.p., 7 Mar. 2008. Web. 16 Mar. 2010 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>Jurkowski, Odin L. “School Library Web Site Terminology.” Library Hi Tech . 2007: 387-395. Emerald . Web. 16 Mar. 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Jurkowski, Odin. “School Library Website Components.” TechTrends . Nov./Dec. 2004: 56-60. EBSCO . Web. 16 Mar. 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Lamb, Annette, and Larry Johnson. “The Virtual-Librarian: Establishing and Maintaining an Effective Web Presence.” Teacher Librarian . April 2008: 69-71. EBSCO . Web. 16 Mar. 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Nielsen, Jakob. Usability of Websites for Teenagers . N.p., 31 Jan. 2005. Web. 16 Mar. 2010 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Schools and Libraries: Guidelines for Designing Successful School Websites.” . State of Connecticut, 16 Mar. 2007. Web. 16 Mar. 2010 <>. </li></ul><ul><li>Walbert, David. “Best Practices in School Library Website Design.” Learn NC. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2010 <>. </li></ul>
    49. 49. Video: What Do Teacher Librarians Really Do? <ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>