Achievement and outcomes

Librarian Uses Digital Collection to Provide Higher-Quality Learning Experience for Students

Kristin Douglas, one of three librarians and seven paraprofessionals at Hempfield High School in Pennsylvania’s Dutch country, knows that the key to being able to teach and support students is having a well-staffed library.

She also knows exactly what she’s up against when it comes to students’ online expectations. As the district transitions from a print to cloud-based library collection, Douglas and her colleagues understand the library will be compared to popular online destinations students have become accustomed to using outside the classroom. It means part of Douglas’ job is to break poor student research habits and replace them with behaviors that will help students excel regardless of whether they plan to attend college.
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Gale Virtual Reference Library Supports Digital Literacy in a “Gold Medal” School

Students and educators at Rhode Island’s Barrington High School have good reason to be proud. Barrington recently received a gold medal in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best High Schools ranking, placing in the top 500 based on highest college readiness, among 19,400 schools nationwide. Barrington Library Media Specialist and K–12 Library Department Head Suzanne Costa has first-hand knowledge of students’ college readiness skills.

The library’s program — which features the reliable content, robust search tools, and friendly interface of the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) — plays an integral role in helping students become digitally literate.

In this Success Story, you’ll read how GVRL supports development of students’ information and digital literacy by providing easy-to-use, but powerful, search features and access to thousands of authoritative e-resources covering virtually every academic, scholarly, and professional discipline. You’ll also see how teachers collaborate with librarians to build GVRL into their courses’ curriculum.

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GVRL Pleases Patrons, Young and Old, in Santa Clara County Library District

Lora Cokolat is a Collection Development and Reading Librarian for the Santa Clara County Library District, working in the District’s Services and Support Center in Campbell, California. Lora purchases e-books, DVDs, book club kits, and e-magazines to support patrons who use the district’s seven libraries and two bookmobiles. Part of the District’s mission is to provide diverse resources on a wide variety of subjects and viewpoints, and to help people use those resources—a task right up the alley of the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL).
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Tracking Database Usage and Implementing Usage Policies

Patron usage data is an extremely useful tool for better understanding patron needs. However, the proliferation of electronic resources – and metrics to track their usage – poses a number of new problems for librarians. What are the most relevant metrics to track? Many vendors’ databases have different usage standards, so how can they be accurately compared with each other? Do hard usage numbers tell the entire story? Who should usage statistics be shared with?
To help answer these questions, Gale interviewed ten librarians heavily involved in tracking and reporting usage at their libraries. The librarians work at a variety of library sizes and types – librarians from public, academic and K12 institutions were all represented. Their insights formed this guide, which will look at usage from varying perspectives and how it can be used to help inform your decision making.
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GVRL Supports Eager High School Students Across the Disciplines

Connie Young puts her twenty-three years of experience as an English teacher to good use at Frontier High School (FrHS) in Bakersfield California, where she’s in her seventh year as a teacher librarian. Before coming to FrHS, Connie used reference products from Gale, so she was pleased to inherit a small but well-conceived Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) collection, which she has continually expanded.
GVRL’s intuitive interface and powerful search features help Frontier’s students–many of whom have little or no library training find what they need, and its citation tools enable students to document their sources with ease. Furthermore, students can access GVRL at school or from the convenience of their home computers, which promotes their engagement with their course work.

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Instruction and Features Drive Library Resource Usage at Hayes High School

Sarah Ressler has been the Media Specialist at Hayes High School for one year. Sarah has extensive teaching experience having served 13 years as an English teacher – 12 of them at Hayes. When an opening in the Media Center surfaced, Sarah saw a chance to make a difference and accepted the position. Throughout her first year in the position Sarah made it her mission to demonstrate the value of library resources to students and teachers at Hayes. Sarah focused on building relationships with teachers as well as educating both teachers and students on how to effectively use library resources. Hayes High School subscribes to Science Resources in Context, Opposing Viewpoints in Context and InfoTrac periodical solutions.

Sarah started her journey by meeting with teachers in different subject areas to understand their information needs. Sarah found teachers to be very receptive to her outreach and they worked together to devise strategies for improving students’ information literacy skills. Additionally, Sarah worked closely with her Gale representative, Andrea Eshelman, to learn how to effectively leverage features available in Gale resources. Sarah developed a presentation on library resources that showed students the value and advantage of using library databases to conduct research. In addition to demonstrating to students the credibility of information contained in library resources, Sarah showed the students how various database tools can save them time and effort when conducting research.

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Michigan High School Media Specialists Drive MeL Usage and Student Success

Grosse Pointe North High School, Grosse Pointe South High School, and Oxford High School are the top three users of Michigan eLibrary (MeL) resources for K12 schools in the state of Michigan. Gale wanted to understand what was driving this usage and
find out why these Media Specialists were having such incredible success in integrating library resources into their schools’ curricula. Interestingly, these Media Specialists, although in three different schools, have similar approaches to bibliographic instruction, managing resources, and teaching students how to conduct research. Integrating MeL resources into the high school website, implementing a library curriculum, and collaborating with teachers have all lead to improved bibliographic and research skills among students.

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OVIC Delivers High-Quality, Accessible Resources to NYC High School Students

Michael Dodes is an active member of the library community. Among other positions, he serves on the Advisory Committee of the American Library Association’s Office of Information Technology. In his current day job, Michael is a Library Information Specialist at A. Philip Randolph Campus High School (APRCHS) in Manhattan, New York. When students and instructors head to the library, Michael helps them get the most out of available resources—and one he often recommends for its quality and accessibility is the Opposing Viewpoints in Context (OVIC) from Gale. Read More…

Ninteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) Improves Engagement in Lucy Morrison’s Literature Class

Dr. Morrison teaches a 300 level course at Salisbury University in Salisbury, MD, called Literature of a Decade. “It is a course that any Literature instructor can teach, and I was teaching it from a British Romantic perspective. I wanted students to use more than a text in isolation,” said Dr. Morrison. One of her primary goals is to have the literary, social, and historical background on a topic. She used Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) in class, and students were required to use it in writing a research paper. Each of them had to do an oral presentation and write-up on the months of their birthdays and the year that was assigned to them by Dr. Morrison. “For example,” Dr. Morrison elaborated “the King losing his head – how was that reported in January 1793? What was the media saying? What was of interest to the students that happened during their birthday month?” Read More…

Positively Impacting Student Achievement: Studying the Effects of Library Resources in the Classroom

When students need reference content to complete their assignment, can you help them find relevant, credible information? In this paper, see how integrating Cengage Learning’s library resources enhanced and expanded the in-class experience for students and teachers alike.

The Cengage Learning team selected McKinley Tech for this efficacy study because the administrators at McKinley are faced with the same challenges and experiencing the same pressures as their peers across the country as they attempt to integrate technology into their classrooms. Read More…