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Example Virtual Libraries

Below are some examples of Digital Libraries already on-line.

At ICONnect, from the American Association of School Librarians, you will find courseware for integrating technology into curriculum, mini-grants, and KidsConnect (a library resource for young students).

HomeworkHelper, a site from Infonautics, is designed for student research online, including homework helpers, customization of searches. A monthly subscription rate is available. It is reasonably priced and might be a useful addition to a secondary school library for once-a-year student research projects. Because it is student-friendly, it relieves overload on busy librarians.

The authors of the Wilton Library collection have compiled exemplars of virtual school libraries from sites as far apart as Richmond BC and Chicago. Sample catalogs and online reading lists are available. This site could be very helpful to librarians who feel isolated from online resources.

At the Big Chalk site click on eLibrary. Designed especially for K12 students, this site has amassed magazines and other print media. The service is not free, but, as the costs of acquiring and maintaining these resources as hardcopy in school libraries rise, increasingly online viewing will become the norm.

In "Learning and Leading with Technology", ISTE's publication, the September 2004 issue offers great suggestions about building a web page for a school library. To support literacy the site can...

  • feature new books
  • showcase magazine holdings
  • feature study tips
  • provide links to Web sites to reinforce classroom activities
  • highlight authors of student literature
  • explain library routine tasks
  • offer contests, word of the day, and historical event of the week.
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Some of the online services have pre-canned reports on popular research topics in schools. A site, like Homework Helper, in contrast, eases searching without sacrificing the opportunity for acquiring needed research skills.

Your local public or regional library system may also have on-line resources available.

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