During this academic year, the library team has worked on developing our physical library collections with a view on expanding our digital offerings beginning in August. However, with COVID-19, we have decided to move the digital library development plan forward.
Our first challenge has been to ensure access to reading materials online through digital services. After trialing a variety of online services, we have decided on three core services with some additional options still being trialed.
Sora is the app used to access OverDrive, which provides a vast array of eBooks and eAudiobooks, based on what the school has purchased. The school community is able to access these resources by either downloading the Sora app or visiting soraapp.com using a web browser. Students will be sent their login details soon, which will enable them to read and listen to books in both English and Chinese. Even better, if your child has membership to libraries that also use OverDrive, they can access those collections as well by using the ‘Add a Public Library’ button. For example, Zhejiang library offers over 1,000 juvenile and young adult titles.
With Britannica, students can access a vast array of non-fiction resources to not only help them with their project research, but also satisfy their personal interests. Students can adjust the reading level of articles, study pictures and watch videos. There are three main parts to the Britannica package. These resources can be accessed through the Wellington College Hangzhou library website.
Britannica Schools is an encyclopedia that is split into three levels based on age. Students can search specifically for what they want or browse topics.
ImageQuest is a student-centred site where they can safely search for images related to their learning or interests. The site has millions of images in different formats that are connected to different topics. Even better, these images are rights-cleared, meaning that students can use them freely in projects without infringing copyright.
There are two different sections to LaunchPacks: Science and Humanities and Social Studies. Our students can access both. These packs collate articles, videos and images on different topics into one ‘pack’ that students can easily access.
Our EBSCO resources range from the Poetry and Short Story Database to non-fiction databases the students can use for research. We also have reference centres for science, history, biographies and NoveList Plus. This final resource helps find books about specific topics (e.g. ‘School in 1950’), readalikes (book suggestions based on another book or author) and books written in different genres. In EBSCOhost Research Databases, users can access hundreds of thousands of articles, eBooks and primary source documents. Students can find links to the EBSCO resources on our library website.
In addition to the resources mentioned above, we are also trialing BrainPop and PebbleGo. Depending on how useful these resources are to our community, we may also subscribe.
As always, if anyone from our community has a suggestion for a resource, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LibGuides – Our Library Website
Our next challenge had been to ensure a central access point for these resources so that our community could access them easily. This is where LibGuides comes in.
This resource is a specialised website service for libraries that enables us to collate resources, information and instructions in one place. Currently, we are working with an initial, basic version of the site that allowed us to create a space quickly. Now, we are working on a more in-depth site that will connect students to appropriate features related to their studies and interests.
On the current site, you will find links to the resources mentioned above, as well as additional free resources for eBooks, audiobooks and information about the library.
A well-resourced digital library not only enables continued access to resources during this special period, but also connects students to the library from wherever they are and whenever they need it. Students can continue to read during the holidays and find the information they need to complete their homework during evenings and weekends. Looking further into the future, providing the digital library experience to students helps prepare them for university where they will be expected to use information responsibly.
We are excited to continue serving our community online, even when we cannot serve you in person.
Digital Book Fair
As we have been unable to hold our Spring book fair, I am pleased to share with you a link to Obido, our book fair provider, for their Spring Reading Club. This is available until 30th April, so please scan the QR code to take a look if you would like to order books.