Jill Marriot school library software user story

Librarian Talk - Jill Marriott – Corinna School

Welcome to Librarian Talk, the place where librarians get to talk about their roles, their unique situations and how Accessit Library has helped them. This week, we speak with Jill Marriott, librarian from Corinna School about how she makes the most of Accessit Library.
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I am the librarian at Corinna School, Waitangirua, Porirua. A job I am passionate about and fortunate to have. It’s a role where I am always learning and am constantly being challenged. I am, of course, a reader. I read widely, across a range of genre, and particularly enjoy New Zealand short stories, Scottish crime, and quirky children’s stories. I enjoy cooking, sharing recipes and food ideas, keeping in contact with whanau, and I love to travel. A three-week trip to India last Christmas was a major undertaking in travel planning and an amazing, special and at times quite confronting experience.

Jill Marriott – Corinna School, NZ

What character in a book has influenced you the most?

I still remember the characters in books from my childhood and how I felt totally immersed in their stories. I loved those girls that stood true to themselves, believed in justice and didn’t need to follow the crowd, they didn’t always get it right, and sometimes had tough lessons to learn. Madeline – the smallest of twelve little girls in two straight lines, Pippi Longstocking, George from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, Heidi.

Tell us about your library! What makes it unique?

Our whare pukapuka is a treasured space, it’s very much a working space, for individuals, small groups and multiple class groups. A place of refuge, a place of story, a place of information and a place to reflect, explore and create. The community it belongs to, the diversity of cultures and the respect that is shown for all, makes it a special and valued part of an amazing school.

What is a challenge that you faced in your library recently?

By the time the COVID-19 lock down came into effect, very few students were still attending school, possibly because many families in our community had experienced the impact of the recent measles epidemic in Samoa. This meant we couldn’t get physical copies of books or resources into many student’s hands.

How did Accessit Library help you solve this challenge?

I spent a few weeks getting myself up to date with Accessit Library training and videos, and with plenty of time to focus, I worked on finally getting our Web App up and running. My main aim was to provide links to a variety of online or easily downloaded resources that weren’t going to use much data. Unfortunately, some students had a single device in their homes, shared between siblings and whanau, (a few didn’t have a device at all) making access difficult.

How has your attitude changed towards the challenge you solved with Accessit Library, now that you’ve worked through it?

I knew I could get the app up and running, with the Accessit Library customer service team there to help if I needed them. Setting aside the time and prioritising it was the issue. Post-lock down having students use, test and evaluate what I thought was a great looking page, and then making the changes they wanted, was a good reminder that the end product has to meet user requirements!

Students now have more ownership of the app (they have also done a lot of incidental learning), they know their ideas have been respected, and as a result we have a more workable interface. The small screens on a Chromebook meant students wanted a very linear product they could quickly scroll through. Ultimately, we used a table, with headings, fonts and colours selected by students, who will help update the page in the future.

What do you like the most about Accessit Library?

The customer focus of the product, usability, function, continuous improvement and development as well as being able to rely on a great customer service team. Having used Public Libraries systems in previous jobs, I am aware of just how clunky and unintuitive library software systems can be! So, I truly appreciate how easy and intuitive using the Accessit Library management system is.

What tips could you give to librarians to help improve their remote learning experience?

Don’t get hung up on completing the courses with great marks – unless it’s your ‘thing’! I go back and refer to the material, videos etc. regularly to ensure I have taken all the learning I can from them. As the LMS changes, the courses and videos are updated so it is worth taking the time to refresh your knowledge – and never be afraid to ask the support team for help, they are always friendly, supportive and happy to answer all questions no matter how seemingly trivial.

Here are stories from other New Zealand librarians making the most of their school library software that may be of interest to you:

Kay Morfett – Rolleston School

Melissa Ashby – Wanaka Primary School

Kris Parlane – Greenhithe School

Patria Davis – Wesley Intermediate

SJ Drummond – Fuqua School

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