Littlehampton Primary

Let’s Talk Libraries: Littlehampton Primary – Barb O’Connor

Littlehampton Primary’s Teacher Librarian, Barb O’Connor, illustrates a fantastic relationship between her students and Accessit Library, highlighting how many use it from the Kindy class upwards and how some senior students become Littlehampton’s Library Legends: a group so well trained in Accessit Library they spend time each week teaching other students.

Barb also discusses how Accessit Library helps reluctant readers and dyslexic students, whilst helping her teach best practice research skills, promote Australian Aboriginal culture and make the library more visible and accessible to the school community.

Type  Primary School
Roll 433
Campus One campus
Install Cloud installation

Keywords:

  • One Search federated searching
  • Readers’ Advisory
  • Student librarians
  • Inquiry based learning
  • Evidence-based practice

Accessit Library’s One Search federated searching is wonderful and the visual dashboard appeals to our primary school audience. The Accessit Library Web App is a great one-stop-shop to showcase different databases and learning tools.

Barb O’Connor

Teacher Librarian, Littlehampton Primary School, SA

Tell me about your switch to Accessit Library and the role you have at Littlehampton Primary School.

I had previous experience with Accessit Library in a secondary school environment and was impressed by the user friendly 24/7 capabilities and the support from the Accessit Support team. The process was quite seamless.

As for my role, I have been a Teacher Librarian at Littlehampton for 4 years. I am responsible for all facets of school library management. In addition, I coordinate:

  • Inquiry based learning programs
  • Book Week
  • Book Clubs
  • Literacy and reader guidance sessions
  • Literature talks & author visits
  • Premier Reading Challenge
  • Readers’ Cup
  • Writing competitions
  • Maker Space
  • Staff training
  • Professional development
  • Library hub meetings.

I also plan collaborative lessons with teachers and work in close association with students, staff and community members.

With such an extensive range of responsibilities, how does Accessit Library make your life as a busy Teacher Librarian easier?

The interface is extremely user friendly.

Accessit Library’s One Search federated searching is wonderful and the visual dashboard appeals to our primary school audience. The Accessit Library Web App is a great one-stop-shop to showcase different databases and learning tools.

There are a number of our students who are dyslexic and we use the comment functionality on Accessit Library to note their interests and passions so we can offer them the best fit books.

Also, on the Accessit Library Web App there is a landing page for SPELD (an organisation supporting dyslexic or low reading level students) which provides current and relevant information for teachers and parents.

I love the idea of the Web App being a one-stop-shop where people can head off to different areas that highlight or support different reading or research initiatives.
Web App - Littlehampton
The Accessit Library Help Portal is really useful too. It’s really extensive and very helpful. The online Help Portal means I can always try to solve my own problems first. I have a lot more confidence in my cataloguing and system management since working with Accessit Library. It gives me the confidence to figure things out for myself most of the time.

From the range of responsibilities you highlighted, could you elaborate more on how Book Week and Reader Guidance sessions look at Littlehampton Primary?

Book Week

Book week is an annual nationwide event and wonderful literacy opportunity to have author visits and workshops.

There is a different theme each year which we build on for outreach activities, including art, drama and literacy challenges. We highlight quality literature on the shortlist and arrange author/illustrator workshops. The teachers embrace this and help facilitate different activities.

Reader Guidance Sessions

Our reader guidance sessions help our kids find the “right fit” book for them – like finding the pair of shoes that fit best! There are a number of authors here in the Adelaide Hills and First Nation experts who help us learn more about local and Peramangk Aboriginal culture and history. We have been fortunate with their willingness to come in to motivate the kids and teach us about what they have done in researching for their books.

I think it is quite an important extension.

There is a clear sense of pride in Aboriginal Culture at Littlehampton Primary, would you care to elaborate more on this?

Learning about Australian Aboriginal culture is very important to us.

We are continuously learning and I encourage everyone to use the resources we have available to understand more and pay respect to our First Nation people. The students will be leaders in the future, so it’s really important to have that inbuilt respect and knowledge.

We are proud to be living in a country that has the oldest living culture in the world :- Aboriginal culture. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land – The Peramangk People. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging, and ex tend this to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

The Library Legends have created a Peramangk pride corner in our library where we have all different types of resources. We can promote these resources on the Accessit Web App and it encourages learning in general.

The Accessit Library Management System has helped us become extremely “visible” in our school community.

What is the relationship like between your students and the library?

Students visit weekly for class visits, Inquiry, borrowing and also regularly in their own time.

We also like to get them involved in book selection. We have a well-known book seller visit with a great selection of books based on the students’ interests. Students work within a budget and can vote on three books they would like for the school library. Once these books have been approved and catalogued we put them up as a news item on the Accessit Library Web App with a note of who suggested that pick.

We also have young people who want to write and publish books themselves, and I have catalogued a few books written by them and put them in our library collection. Also, a number of their poems have been selected and published in Australian Poetry anthologies. There are lots of opportunities to highlight and extend the students.

How do your students engage with Accessit Library in particular?

Library Legends

I have a group of students known as the ‘Library Legends’ who are very well-trained with using Accessit Library. We meet first lesson on a Monday and run through things like how to:

  • Use One Search
  • Put in keywords
  • Find new books
  • Write a review
  • Extend books
  • Reserve a book

The idea was prompted by the need for extra help with the library being such a busy place, and the thought of having the kids teaching their peers was a really exciting thing to trial. Having the senior students involved in that teaching process has been really good and continues to go from strength to strength.

We started it with the basics of Accessit Library, but it soon came to covering some pretty amazing things.

The Library Legends now have a segment at every assembly where they can talk about something to do with Accessit Library, whether it be the databases, a book talk or present a video about new and exciting features, new books or an author focus. The senior students are really passionate about using Accessit Library and the research databases.

Web App

The students use Accessit Library on BYOD laptops, iPads and school computers in the main library and at home. Accessit Library’s integration with other services and being their first port of call for looking things up helps to create a quality research approach.

What benefits have you noticed in terms of student engagement, given how easily your students, the school library and Accessit Library all work together?

Students use the catalogue more now as they feel confident and the spell check options are helpful. They also have increased their borrowing as they can see the visual covers of books and can locate resources more easily.

Accessit Library helps us run reports on:

  • Number of books borrowed
  • Collections borrowed
  • Top year borrowed
  • Top 5 books borrowed (non-fiction, fiction, etc.) and more.

This has been great for parents and also gives teachers and library staff useful information about a child’s borrowing history, reading preferences, etc. I use Accessit Library’s Reports and Statistics regularly to support book selection and provide relevant statistical data to Governing Council to support the role of the library in the school. Accessit helps market the library and what we do for the school community.

What are some ways you have felt supported by Accessit Library and the Accessit Library Support team?

  • Every time I send a question to the helpdesk, I get a timely response back
  • The online videos Accessit Library provides are so helpful
  • We have attended two or three webinars and will continue to – they’re always good and answer questions we have
  • The roadshows were really good and I hope they can happen again soon.

I also appreciate the automatic backups.

How did Accessit Library support you and Littlehampton Primary School during COVID?

Accessit Library was a huge asset to our school during the COVID lockdowns.

We had an extensive period of learning from home. Accessit Library was able to get our students online, but more importantly their parents too – and they really enjoyed it. They liked the visual aspect of it and found it really user friendly.

Also, all of the databases we subscribe to were available on Accessit Library during lockdown, such as Story Box Library and Britannica Online. We also had modules of work from the department’s scope and sequence units which were accessible and links to Google classroom.

We were also doing ‘Click and Collect Library book boxes’ and our loans went through the roof!

We included some fun activity sheets and book quizzes and promoted our own version of ‘Bookflix’ (like Netflix but for books). Students would review and write down their star ratings for the books which we would later post on the Accessit Library Web App.

How would you describe Accessit Library in one word?

Impressive!

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