Our Virtual Library

The books are not going away, but there is another world of resources available to our students digitally that librarians have an obligation to teach in order to make our students future ready learners.

Equal Access

Every elementary student in our district, no matter the school, has one Canvas course in common – Virtual Library. This course houses a basic variety of digital resources, and if students can successfully navigate and use Virtual Library, they will have the skills to use databases, eBooks, and digital resources throughout their lives.

Information Literacy Standards

I wrote out a 10 week plan (started as a 6 week plan and kept growing), to cover the different components of Virtual Library and give my 3rd-5th grade students time to explore and navigate the features of each section. I adjusted lessons, dove deeper into some and skimmed some with different grade levels depending on how it fit in with my district scope and sequence.

I started to write out descriptions of all 10 lessons, but this blog post became way, way too long and drawn out, so I will post separate blog posts about the different weeks to give a little more space for description and reflection.

Thinking Ahead

Because I took so much time working through Virtual Library this year with my students, I don’t really want to do the same lesson sequence again next year. I know we will have new students, but our turnover isn’t so remarkably high that the students (and I) will not be bored repeating the same thing as last year.

I’m either going to re-think the lessons I taught or come up with some way to condense the overview of Virtual Library and then add a more application / evaluation level component to the work we do within Virtual Library.

I still find Virtual Library to be such a valuable but underutilized resource within our elementary schools. In the following weeks, I’ll go through the 10 weeks reflecting on what I taught each week, and how those lessons went.

I’ve actually completed teaching the 10 weeks already, but I’m going back through my lessons and notes, and deciding what went well, what I hope to do better next year, and seeking advice from others to improve my instruction of this important chunk of information that I need to cover each year in my Information Literacy classes.

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