Extending your library beyond books

Carole Gardiner from AccessIt Library explains how software can be used school-wide to improve literacy and foster a love of reading.

Having made the step from fulltime librarian to working with library software, it’s been amazing to see how different librarians work.

So many of our colleagues across the country are firmly establishing the library as a cornerstone of their school’s learning journey.

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In this article, I want to inspire you with some of the best practices I’ve seen in action, and the features of library software that make it possible to enhance and improve literacy throughout the school, and clearly demonstrate that a library is about so much more than just books!

Librarians have the skills to be involved in all areas of learning throughout the school. In fact, we have the power to extend kids’ learning beyond the library walls. We do more than just issue and return books, and I’m inspired by the librarians I see every day who are taking charge and getting the library involved with a wide range of topics right across the curriculum.

Take these ideas as inspiration to try something new, or see them as a positive reminder that what you are doing is great for our tamariki and your teaching colleagues.

Image supplied by AccessIt Library

How can librarians use software to link with their wider school?

Content curation:
Creating separate dashboards for curriculum and inquiry topics can bring together library and other online resources in one easy to find place.  This facilitates collaborative resource sharing between library staff and teaching colleagues.


  •  Gives students the chance to go beyond books and elevate their learning to the next level.
  • Brings together all your physical and digital resources in one easy to use place.
  • Builds your relationship with teaching colleagues through sharing of resources, generating reading lists for staff and learners, and improving awareness of library resources and services.
  • Quick and easy to curate relevant resources, with the ability to copy between dashboards or even import a platforms ready-made dashboard.

Teaching Safe Searching:
With the quality of content found with a Google search now being more in question than ever, we need to teach smart and safe research skills. Search functions inside library software can help students find quality information from trusted sources, extending a search for library resources to your subscription databases and free searchable websites.


  • Helps your students find age appropriate and reliable information.
  • Helps promote and make the most of your databases.
  • Encourages searching in a safe way beyond the library’s physical resources.
Library Software
Image supplied by AccessIt Library

Reporting for the Better:
Reporting goes beyond just finding the most popular books or stocktaking, it can also be a really powerful tool to help  librarians and teachers find out more about how our tamariki are using all the resources that your library provides.


  • Let your colleagues see what their class is reading or interested in.
  • Identify what learners are searching for, so you can quickly and easily see what is most popular, to help guide purchasing decisions and collection development.
  • Advocating for the library and the role of the librarian. If you don’t tell and show your stakeholders, they won’t know how well your library is performing.

Carole Gardiner has been a librarian “forever”. She says the best part of being a librarian is being able to help people. Carole has been working with AccessIt software since 2007.

School News

School News is not affiliated with any government agency, body or political party. We are an independently owned, family-operated magazine.
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