Sunday, March 2, 2008

Elements of an Ideal Virtual Library

Valenza(2005) and Clyde(1999) have both suggested that there are some common elements that are shared by well designed virtual libraries:

- navigation that is simple and instinctive
- search tools and electronic databases pages are available
- there is a school library catalogue link
- access to bibliographic and citation guides
- access to research guides such as organisers, rubrics, hand-outs, subject gateways and web quests
- reference services are available such as an e-mail link for students to as a librarian for suggestions on how to research a topic or located information
- access to reading lists, book reviews and promotions
- access to pathfinders, which link students to physical and online resources for a specific assignment

Teacher librarians need to embrace and support student enthusiasm for learning with technology by providing online resources, and teaching information literacy skills.
Building a website might seem an enormous task but it is achievable according to Grantham(2007), if the following steps are taken:

- explore other school library websites
- select the best ideas for design, content and navigation
- set realistic goals
- start small and build up over time
- develop a comprehensive selection policy for online resources
- consult journals with reviews of Internet resources
- select from the Edna theme pages as a source of authoritative web links
- encourage teacher involvement in sending relevant web sites to add to subject links
- promote the use of the school's virtual library to teachers and students
- incorporate its use in resource-based learning lessons
- allocate time to work on the web pages

Developing a well designed virtual library will enable teachers and students to effectively search for relevant information and effectively utilize this knowledge.

1 comment:

Katie said...

This is a great list of elements for an effective VSL Cindy! I am actually just looking at the different parts I need for my site and your list has provided a few that I missed!