Category Archives: School Libraries

Canadian libraries and academic institutions join forces to give access to sources exploring Canada’s history

Institutions across Canada can now benefit from full access to Frontier Life: Borderlands Settlement and Colonial Encounters, a digital collection of primary sources offering a glimpse into Canada’s historic past.

Consortia Canada, Adam Matthew and 18 leading academic institutions have collaborated to open this content to libraries and educational institutions across Canada, including all library types: public, post-secondary, special, archives, museums and K-12 schools. The collaboration unlocks important primary sources to provide the broader community with a comparative view on the various colonial frontiers across the globe. Continue reading Canadian libraries and academic institutions join forces to give access to sources exploring Canada’s history

Ebooks in K-12 libraries: The options, the issues, the possibilities

This NSR original three-part series on ebooks in K-12 or school libraries (written and researched by Peyton Stafford, an expert on school library-oriented publishing ) is intended for school librarians who want a basic understanding of how ebook business models work in their world and how to make them work as much as possible to the librarian’s advantage.

The first article looks at business models and their importance, and then sketches out the main kinds of ebook business models that K-12 librarians have to deal with. The second article looks at the models in more depth and give examples of how they work in practice. It also discusses platform issues. The third article draws a few conclusions and points out some ways that librarians can skillfully use their knowledge of ebook business models to stretch their budgets and better serve their teachers and students.

After reading the three articles listed below, school librarians should be able to recognize the business model that goes with any particular ebook offering they may be evaluating. This will help them compare offerings so they can make wise decisions as they acquire and manage their ebook collections.

 

Choosing Ebook Platforms for K-12 Libraries

This is the third in a series of  articles on ebook  models in K-12 or school libraries. The first article was about why school librarians would want to know about anything as abstract as an ebook business model (hint: knowing the basic models will help you choose the best products to meet your library’s goals). The second article examined the four basic models and boiled them down to their simplest levels. One treats ebooks like printed books. One treats ebooks like journal articles. One treats ebooks like books in a bookstore. One treats ebooks like shared resources. Today’s article will show how to use these basic concepts to select the best kinds of ebook products for your library.

Some issues to keep in mind

Before going further, let’s look at some of the issues that come with ebooks in school libraries. We want to have these in mind as we consider how to create a combination of products with different ebook business models. These issues involve three areas: the supplier’s platform and business model, assuring that the ebooks are used to support the educational goals of the school, and bridging the digital divide.

To begin with the platform and business model issues, we need to understand what an ebook platform is, and why it is important. We already know what a business model is and how the four kinds of business models affect school libraries. The platform is the specific technology that an ebook supplier uses to provide ebooks. It includes a web-based interface for student use. It may include apps that make the books readable on mobile devices. It will have an administrative interface or dashboard for you to use so you can control loan periods, track usage, etc. It may also have a teacher interface so that teachers can assign reading to students, and then monitor their progress. If you need to select and purchase individual ebooks before your students can read them, it will also include a book ordering function. In other words, the platform supports everything you, your students and your teachers do with ebooks. Without the platform, you cannot use the ebooks. Continue reading Choosing Ebook Platforms for K-12 Libraries

The Four Basic Ebook Models for K-12 Libraries

This is the second article in a three-part series on ebook business models in K-12 libraries. In the first article, we looked at what a business model is and at the four main kinds of ebook business models that K-12 librarians need to know about. In this article, we will look at each of the four basic models in more depth and glance at some examples of them. We will not attempt to compare product offerings in depth, but I will mention an example or two of each model. Because ebook technology is still in its early stages, the platforms and feature sets of each offering change rapidly, so any comparison is bound to be a snapshot at best.

As you read, keep in mind that ebooks are not simply digital versions of printed books. Legally, they are licensed as software, so when you buy an ebook you are buying a license to use a piece of software. You are not buying a physical object. You do not own it in the same way that you would own a printed book. Technologically, they are completely different, too. While they may look like pictures of books on the screen, under the skin they are software.

On the one hand, this brings some limitations, but at the same time, it is possible to use ebook technology to empower readers in ways that cannot be done with print technology. Continue reading The Four Basic Ebook Models for K-12 Libraries

K-12 Ebook Business Models and Why You Should Care About Them

“Why do I sometimes feel that the conditions I have to accept when I buy ebooks do not work well for me or for my students?”

“I’ve heard the term business model, and I’d like to understand how business models affect me in the real world of my work. But I don’t want to spend a lot of time learning about them. I just want a basic understanding.”

 

If you are a school librarian, and these ebook questions are on your mind, then please continue reading.

This is the first article in a three-part series on ebooks in K-12 or school libraries. It is intended for school librarians who want a basic understanding of how ebook business models work in their world, and of how to make them work as much as possible to the librarian’s advantage. Continue reading K-12 Ebook Business Models and Why You Should Care About Them

Digital Literacy in the “post-truth” age

Rosen’s newest and timely offering, its Digital Literacy database, is meant to empower students to be savvy digital citizens and tell fact from fiction in the ‘post-truth’ age. It includes  Interactive Project-Based Activities that guide students (in Grades 7-12) to be citizen journalists; create podcasts, social media campaigns, and more. Free trial for school libraries is available here.

In Rosen’s words:

Maintaining the gold standard set by Rosen Digital’s inaugural product, Teen Health & Wellness: Real Life, Real Answers, Digital Literacy delivers curriculum-correlated content; promotes digital literacy and 21st-century learning skills; and offers research, report, and homework help.

Developed for teen learners with their unique learning styles and sensibilities in mind, Digital Literacy features a straightforward, easy-to-navigate interface. Teen-friendly articles make digital literacy and cyber citizenship both readily comprehensible and highly engaging. Dynamic videos and relevant photos enhance and extend learning. Interactive activities prompt students to use real-world Web sites and software to create unique user-generated content including: podcasts, public service announcements, multimedia presentations, digital business plans, and dynamic articles.

Digital Literacy informs and inspires learners about key digital literacy and cyber citizenship topics including entrepreneurship and careers; communication, cyberbullying, and safety; privacy and ethics; research skills and tools for the digital age; social networking; and gaming.

Digital Literacy includes resources to support and reinforce classroom instruction. Curriculum-correlated content supports Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (ELA), AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner, 2016 ISTE Standards for Students (ISTE-S), and state standards for technology. Educators will also appreciate lesson plans, assessment, extension and enrichment activities, as well as the text-to-speech feature, printable research sheets, and article-specific glossaries.

11 key qualities of a K-12 digital resource for the classroom

child-1183465Through the process of identifying quality materials, AAP (American Association of Publishers)—representing nearly 400 member organizations that include major commercial, digital learning, education and professional publishers as well as independents, non-profits, university presses and scholarly societies—has recently identified the 11 “essential components” to help educators recognize which products are right for their classroom. These include (and are listed in this slide):

Continue reading 11 key qualities of a K-12 digital resource for the classroom

Follett and EBSCO partner; 600,000 titles available for ordering through Titlewave

McHENRY, Ill., Feb. 1, 2016 —Follett announced it is partnering with EBSCO Information Services to make approximately 600,000 EBSCO-hosted eBooks available for ordering through Titlewave, Follett’s premier collection development and order platform for K-12 schools.

EBSCO offers high-quality eBooks from more than 1,500 major publishers, including eBooks from more than 115 worldwide university presses. The Follett-EBSCO partnership provides schools with the flexibility to purchase EBSCO eBooksâ„¢ on Titlewave, a platform already integral to their workflow, and provides an easy, cost-effective way for libraries to provide educators with full-text EBSCO eBooks coverage to support their curricula. Continue reading Follett and EBSCO partner; 600,000 titles available for ordering through Titlewave

Gale Expands Integration of Google Apps for Education into Popular Product Lines

Farmington Hills, Mich., Nov. 5, 2015 Putting research technology directly into user workflow, Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, has expanded the integration of Google Apps for Education — Gmail, Classroom, Drive, Docs, and more — into its most-popular product lines. Researchers can seamlessly log into many of their school or library’s Gale resources with their Google Account credentials and easily save, share, and download content (including bookmarks and their personal highlights and notes) using Gmail, Drive, and Docs. In December, the new Google Classroom share button will be integrated with these resources, allowing educators to seamlessly link third party content, including Gale content, to classroom assignments. Continue reading Gale Expands Integration of Google Apps for Education into Popular Product Lines

Follett announces key product integrations with OverDrive, Mackin

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 2, 2015 — Follett continues to expand its market-leading Destiny solution to be an open agnostic discovery tool for print and digital content that supports PreK-12 classroom and curriculum needs. Another major step in that direction was announced today when Follett unveiled new product integrations with OverDrive and Mackin Educational Resources.

The announcement coincides with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference, which starts Thursday (Nov. 5) in Columbus, Ohio. Continue reading Follett announces key product integrations with OverDrive, Mackin

New ‘Managed Services’ Offering From Follett Designed to Help K-12 Administrators Save Time, Money, Space

McHENRY, Ill., Oct. 5, 2015 —Follett announced this week it is unveiling a new offering — Managed Services — directed at administrators and designed to help districts eliminate both routine and seasonal tasks involved in managing resources, ultimately saving significant time, money and space.

“We are excited as Managed Services is a brand-new offering from Follett, and comes in response to educators telling us they are spending too much time on operational activities, which takes attention away from their primary goal of student learning,” said Tom Schenck, president, Follett School Solutions. “Our customized program provides valuable outsourced services for administrators when they’re lacking the resources — staffing, facilities or time — to efficiently and effectively run their district.” Continue reading New ‘Managed Services’ Offering From Follett Designed to Help K-12 Administrators Save Time, Money, Space

DPLA a 2015 Best App for Teaching & Learning

The Digital Public Library of America is extraordinarily grateful to be recognized as one of 2015’s Best Apps for Teaching & Learning by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Chosen for its embodiment of AASL’s learning standards and support of the school librarian’s role in implementing career and college readiness standards, this is DPLA’s second “Best of” award from the prestigious education-oriented division of the American Library Association. DPLA was recognized as a Best Website for Teaching & Learning in 2013. Continue reading DPLA a 2015 Best App for Teaching & Learning

Rosen Publishing Buys Jackdaw Publications

NEW YORK, NY- Rosen Publishing, one of the leading publishers of print and digital materials for the school library, classroom, and public library markets, today announced it had signed a deal to acquire the assets of Jackdaw Publications, a DBA of Golden Owl Publishing, Inc., located in Amawalk, NY.

(Click here to see Jackdaws Primary Source Materials

Jackdaw Publications is the world’s largest educational company producing primary source facsimile materials. Jackdaw was for many years operated by the husband and wife team of Roger and Mary Jacques, who acquired the company in 1973, and later by their children. Rosen will assume operation of the purchased assets effective June 19, 2015 continuing to do business under the Jackdaws and Jackdaw Publications names. The editorial and production staffs of Rosen’s Jackdaws operation will be located in New York, NY at Rosen’s corporate headquarters. Continue reading Rosen Publishing Buys Jackdaw Publications

EBSCO introduces Explora, a new interface for schools and public libraries

IPSWICH, Mass. January 30, 2015 EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is introducing Exploraâ„¢, an appealing new EBSCOhost® interface for K12 schools and public libraries. EBSCO designed Explora following a series of user research studies with the goal of better assisting students in completing research and classroom assignments and providing a more intuitive search experience for public library patrons.

Multiple versions of Explora will be released for schools and public libraries. Each version features a unique landing page designed to best support the needs of students, patrons, teachers and librarians in their respective settings. Continue reading EBSCO introduces Explora, a new interface for schools and public libraries

Library eBook use up 33% in 2014 through OverDrive

CLEVELANDJanuary 8, 2015Capitalizing on the latest advances in eBook technology and popular catalog availability, public libraries saw digital checkouts rise again to record levels in 2014.  OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading eBook and audiobook platform for libraries and schools, announced today that circulation of eBooks, audiobooks and other digital media increased 33% in 2014 to 137 million checkouts, while web traffic and discoverability similarly increased, especially on mobile devices.

Continue reading Library eBook use up 33% in 2014 through OverDrive

BiblioBoard® Expands Harmony Ink Press Collection to Include More Positive Young Adult LGBTQ+ Titles for Libraries

BiblioBoard has expanded their already comprehensive LGBTQ+ offering to include more positive content for young readers from Dreamspinner’s Young Adult imprint, Harmony Ink Press. Harmony Ink’s update includes 50 new titles, all published in 2014. The books range from thrillers with werewolves and traveling carnivals to more traditional romance and coming-out stories. Continue reading BiblioBoard® Expands Harmony Ink Press Collection to Include More Positive Young Adult LGBTQ+ Titles for Libraries

Follett’s new Destiny Resource Manager will manage textbooks, equipment, and more

MCHENRY, Ill., Dec. 3, 2014 —Follett this week introduced Destiny Resource Manager, a new, universal system that enables K-12 districts to track and manage all school assets. Destiny Resource Manager represents an evolution from Follett Destiny Asset Manager as it will monitor barcoded textbooks in addition to traditional assets such as laptops, tablets and equipment. Continue reading Follett’s new Destiny Resource Manager will manage textbooks, equipment, and more

Free webinar: How to Keep K-8 Libraries Relevant for Teachers, Students, Nov. 4th

Register for this free webinar co-sponsored by Rourke Educational Media and School Library Journal.

VERO BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 20, 2014) –An expert panel of educators will analyze how using technology, understanding informational text, and improving literacy are keys to keeping K-8 school libraries relevant for teachers and students as part of a webcast set for Tuesday, Nov. 4.

“Keeping K-8 Libraries Relevant” — co-sponsored by Rourke Educational Media and School Library Journal— is scheduled from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT. The webcast panelists will examine how to:

Continue reading Free webinar: How to Keep K-8 Libraries Relevant for Teachers, Students, Nov. 4th

OverDrive adds more than 200 new publishers to global eBook catalog for schools and libraries

From the OverDrive blog:

OverDrive, the leading platform for eBooks, audiobooks and streaming video to libraries and schools, announced today that more than 200 publishers have joined the company’s network in 2014, 64 of which represent partners outside of North America. Now offering content in 40 languages in more than 50 countries, OverDrive continues to grow its global footprint and expand and diversify its catalog of more than 2.5 million in-copyright digital titles. Continue reading OverDrive adds more than 200 new publishers to global eBook catalog for schools and libraries

4th annual Follett Challenge – Empowering Innovation – launched

MCHENRY, Ill., Oct. 2, 2014 — The fourth annual Follett Challenge, which will highlight and reward the most innovative K-12 programs that teach 21st century skills to students, launches its 2014-15 contest Monday, Oct. 6.

“Our contest’s new tagline, ‘Follett Challenge — Empowering Innovation’ speaks to the idea that we’re not just rewarding innovative educators, but empowering them to share their stories and do more,” said Tom Schenck, president, Follett School Solutions. “Doing more with less is another theme we consistently see from the schools, and it is an ongoing source of pride for Follett to reward these passionate educators with resources to do even more.”

Continue reading 4th annual Follett Challenge – Empowering Innovation – launched