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Students & Parents: Info Made Easy

A conversation with a member of a local community brought to mind how important COMMUNICATION is in today's society. Could it be that there is too much information and not enough time to share it all? Case in point: A youngster in school loves reading but finds it hard to take a book out during "library time". There's too little time to allow it, is the excuse. The curriculum must be adhered to. If there's extra time after the lesson, it is implied, then the student is given time to find a book they want to read. Enter the age of the digital catalogue and digital databases.

Most, if not all, schools, have online databases of books that are available through their building libraries. Gone are the days where you had no idea what books were available in school. With the implementation of catalogues like Follett's Destiny product, community members, parents and students should be able to see what books their children have access to (and what books their tax dollars have paid for)! 

In my day, we went to the library after school. Why? Because it was the ONLY place to get reading material outside of a small school library and your newspaper stand. Today we have MANY places to get information. The problem lies with community members, parents and students, knowing WHERE to access the information. 

NY Public Library, Flickr image by ktylerconk, Orig date 03/1/07, upload date 11/25/10

In this post I'm going to include several places to get information for all you information hungry readers out there. Keep in mind that some of these places are local to my area (Long Island) and some are available to people all over the world. Here are some places to keep in mind when looking for something to read: 

  • Your School District Library Catalog. Usually the catalogues are found right on a school district's main web page. Click on an individual school building if you don't find it. Search Library, Online Databases, Online Catalogues, Library Media Specialists, etc. Follett Destiny's products main pages have a similar look and feel and can be customized. Here are two examples of how students (and parents) can view books available in their schools: Westbury Powells Lane and Maine South High School
  • Your Local Library System - This includes your town library system and your county-wide resources. In NY, towns have the option of sharing resources with other areas, so your library card gives you access to one library or many. Here is a listing of some of our local library selections: Nassau Library / Suffolk Library
  • Your State Library Initiatives - In NY, we have NovelNY, an initiative funded by the state that allows access to state funded databases and information accessible in different formats. All you need is a public library card OR a NY driver's license, or a non-driver ID. This online collection is available to all NYS residents.  In Maine, they have MARVEL, Maine's Virtual and Electronic Library collection. Do you know what your state offers? 
  • US Federal Resources - These resources include The Library of Congress & The National Archives. A trip to DC is not complete without a trip to these national treasures but their online collections are extensive and accessible 24/7. Check them out.
  • OverDrive Media - One of many companies working with libraries and schools around the world allowing access to information in e-publishing formats. This company happens to help my local Suffolk County community to gain access to materials through a portal called Live-Brary. They also have an App called OverDrive Media which allows you to read e-pub format books on your iPod Touch, iPad, computer, etc. etc. 

- Blanca E. Duarte, Chief Enablement Officer, LogicWing

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