Resources for School Libraries
Students may have forgotten passwords to your resources and directions for how to use them. Consider re-sharing this information with students and staff, as well as making instructional videos or screen casts to put online.
Share ideas about how to lessen the demands on bandwidth at home:
Remind students that ebooks and audiobooks can be downloaded to their device. Note: Joining WSDLC is an affordable way to offer eBooks, and you can use Common School Funds to join and to add additional items to your school or district collection through an Advantage Account with Overdrive.
- Use Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline and then connect to your network to update, turn in work, and share with others.
Information about this topic can be found at Offers for Services and Resources for Schools during COVID-19.
Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
As offers for free resources flood your inbox, and the inbox of your teachers, stay focused on the quality resources you already have available. Also, although many vendors and service providers are working with the benefit of students in mind, beware of scams and unnecessary data collection. An abundance of free tools and special offers due to school closures mean we need to practice cybersafety and exercise critical thinking when curating and sharing resources with others. Be especially vigilant about those that request personal identification information. This document from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) outlines some reminders.
Information about this topic can be found at Offers for Services and Resources for Schools during COVID-19. and the DPI Cybersecurity web pages.
Fair Use is meant to accommodate a number of educational circumstances. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this Public Statement of Library Copyright Specialists: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research has been created. Although intended for academic institutions, much of it is applicable to K-12 education. This School Library Journal article helps unpack this resource: “A Crisis—as in School Closures Due to Coronavirus—Justifies Fair Use, Say Librarians”. And, a more academic piece, Reading Aloud: Fair Use Enables Translating Classroom Practices to Online Learning from the infojustice.org blog hosted by American University, provides further details. Remember that although these are challenging times, the work and intellectual property of others must be respected.
Read Aloud Resources
It is recommended to obtain permission for online read-aloud activities. There are a number of publishers and authors who are helping educators with temporary permissions. This School Library Journal COVID-19 Publisher Information Directory continues to be updated. The American Association of School Librarians' Knowledge Quest blog has also posted Distance Read-Alouds about this topic.
Copyright for Distance Learning: Tips and Resources for Teachers and Administrators from copyrightandcreativity.org , a Internet Education Foundation website, has useful information and links.
Common School Fund Expenditures
- A special fund allocation of $5.25 million has been added to the 2019-20 Common School Fund distribution. Chaired by State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands approved the special distribution to support families with the continuation of learning because of the ongoing public health emergency. Find updated amounts for each district on the DPI Common School Fund Distribution web page.
- Library Media Specialists are encouraged to allocate Common School Funds to allowable online resources, such as eBooks, audiobooks, and research databases. Payments are scheduled to be issued to districts on April 27, 2020.
- As you consider new resources, be conscious of cost beyond the subscription. For example, training for staff and students, relevance to curriculum, and the ability to maintain subscriptions in the future are important variables. Collecting usage data will allow you to determine the value of your investments.
- If districts are unable to spend their 2019-20 Common School Fund allocation in full, the unspent portion should be coded as restricted fund balance (10 B 936130) and spent in 2020-21. These changes should be noted in the district's long-range library plan.
Circulation for School Libraries
Current research is showing that books are not a high risk for transmitting COVID-19 when treated with appropriate precautions. This Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone blog post with CDC references, information from the Northeast Document Conservation Center, and article from American Libraries all highlight quarantine guidelines.
School library books are important to our students for many reasons, including providing a break from digital screens and providing a possible solution to equity issues related to Internet access. As with all decisions during this challenging time, library media specialists are encouraged to work with other district leaders when deciding how to best provide services for students.
Things to consider if your district is considering distributing school library books :
- Pick-up and drop-off and/or delivery of materials needs to have a system emphasizing safety and wellness.
- Utilize already established delivery systems, such as those being used for food and instructional packets.
- Students will require a way to communicate what books they would like to check out, such as a Google Form.
- A location should be designated to keep returned books for the set quarantine period.
- Learn more about public library circulation in the Wisconsin Public Libraries Reopening Guide.
The BadgerLink team has posted a targeted list of resources to share with students and teachers in a recent Badger Bulletin. Here are links to those resources that use the updated URLs. Please share and post on your library website and highlight some of their accessibility, such as read-aloud and translation features.
Britannica School: Encyclopedia articles with images, maps, games, and other learning materials.
Resources for Books and Reading
NoveList K-8: Children's fiction recommendation resource with read-alikes, discussion guides, reading lists, and more.
TeachingBooks: An engaging collection of resources that brings books to life.
Middle Search Plus: Magazine and primary sources suitable for middle school students.
Primary Search: Full-text magazines for elementary school, Encyclopedia of Animals, Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, and American Heritage Children's Dictionary.
U.S. Newsstream: U.S. current and archived news back to 1980s.
Skill Building and Test Preparation
LearningExpress Library School Center: Skill-building resources for classroom and homework success.
Resources from trusted partners:
PBS Wisconsin Education: Educational videos, images, sound files, and animations spanning all curricular areas.
Collaboration with Public Libraries
Wisconsin public libraries have begun to reopen. Updates regarding this and other public library information can be found at COVID-19 Information for Wisconsin Public Libraries.
Many libraries are promoting remote services, so reach out to your local youth services library staff to see how you can collaborate and support each other. You may also want to follow the Youth Services Blog from the Youth Services Section of the Wisconsin Library Association for ideas and information.
Remember that WiFi access is available at Wisconsin public libraries, as well as on your school grounds. This can be helpful for students having trouble connecting.
Encourage students to use online resources available from their public library website with their library card.
Moving forward, your administrators may ask you to account for your professional time in different ways than classroom teachers. Here are some suggestions:
- Help colleagues by curating resources for them and assisting with their technology needs. Focus on supporting curriculum rather than providing enrichment.
- Offer “office hours” to provide support for students and parents trying to navigate their new online environment.
- Join networking meetings hosted by DPI School Libraries on Friday mornings. (Networking group had its last meeting on June 5, 2020 and will not meet again until mid-July)
- Work on district level library planning. Many of you have participated in CESA workshops or the ISTE U course. Use this time to get your library plan ready to go for 2020-21! Us and share resources in the WISELearn School Library Planning Group
- Update library web pages, including your new BadgerLink URLs.
- Clean up records in your library catalog
- Create summer reading lists (a bit early!)
Due to library closures and suspension of SCLS Delivery, requests for physical materials should not be placed or filled at this time. Requests for non-returnable articles can be placed as usual during this time. For more information, join the WISCAT/ILL listserv by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact the WISCAT team with questions at email@example.com.