Q: I’m interested in eBooks, but don’t feel like I have the technical know-how to be successful. What can I do?
A: While many of the librarians that I work with consider themselves to be progressive in their practice, one thing holds them back. Their desire to have complete knowledge of a topic prevents them from being able to confidently explore new technology, introduce innovative practices, and loosen their control over the learning process. School librarians have limited access to students and have a tendency to want to guarantee that every moment is a success.
Technology is changing faster than we can learn it. Just when we think we’ve learned the newest thing available to us, it changes or something even newer comes along. We must learn to let go of that need to know everything and embrace the expertise of our professional networks.
Take eBooks and OverDrive for example. Whether you are just introducing the platform to students, but are afraid you will not be able to answer device specific questions or you need higher level support in identifying ways to circulate titles that are buried in the collection, OverDrive has a built-in network.
The OverDrive Resource Center, for example, provides everything you need to know from marketing your product to training your staff. Have an upcoming parent’s night? Visit the marketing and outreach center to print custom flyers to send home with access information. There are also specialists available to help you with curating collections that meet the instructional and independent reading needs of your students, as well as FAQs, webinars, and checklists. If you don’t have time to find it, your account specialist will gladly point you in the right direction.
Remember, if you wonder about something, someone else has too. You shouldn’t hesitate in reaching out to those who can help you. Learn how to use the OverDrive software and apps right along with your students. What better way to teach your students to be lifelong learners than to show them that you are one too.
Jen Cannell serves as the School Library System and Arts Coordinator for Capital Region BOCES in Albany, NY, where she provides supports and services to school librarians, teachers, and administra-tors across 24 school districts. Jen’s career began in Fairport, NY, where she was a middle school librarian and was awarded the Crystal Apple for teacher of the year by her colleagues. Jen will be completing her doctorate in educational leadership at the Sage Colleges this November.
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