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Technology in School Libraries 

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Saved by Alaska State Library: Library Development
on June 25, 2008 at 2:08:39 pm
 

School libraries are frequently the center, or at least the beginning, of technology in the school. The librarian may act as the technology leader of the school. Even if this isn’t a comfortable role for you, be very sure that the committee (or person) that is making decisions about the installation of new technology realizes the central role that libraries should play in information access and training.

 

The following listing of equipment is only general. Specific models, brands, and sizes will depend upon the size of your project, your budget, and the needs of your patrons. However, use this list in discussions with your administration and/or technology committee about the needs and values of technology in the library.

 

Technology in the library must support four areas:

  • The curriculum and teaching program of your school
  • The research and information access of students and staff
  • The production and presentation of research projects
  • The management of library processes

 

Curricular Support

 

Visual projection and viewing systems

  • Video screens permanently available in all instructional areas (preferable)
  • Video system tied into library production center
  • Portable video receivers (if necessary)
  • Video projector(s) for large screen viewing
  • Tape and laser disk playback machines
  • Capability to tape off-air/cable/satellite broadcasts

 

Sound systems

  • Speakers in all instructional areas (perhaps in conjunction with video)
  • Capability to play back CD, DVD and tape
  • Public address system tied into library production center

 

Distance delivery arrangements

  • Classroom setup (perhaps in close conjunction with library) which can provide two-way video and audio connections for remotely taught classes including convening equipment for audioconferencing or video conferencing
  • Satellite dish or cable access to such programming

Media booking system

  • Banks of video (tape, disk , DVD, CD and laserdisk) and sound (CD and tape) playback machines located in library, delivering signals to building network of monitors controlled by system allowing teacher reservation and ordering of media from classroom computers and control of media from classroom (by remote control).

 

Working access to library publishing equipment

  • Building network set up to allow use of classroom computers to access all equipment (see publishing function) in library

 

Research and Information Access

 

In-library access

  • Networked workstations comparable to 1/4 number of largest expected class
  • CD-Rom network accessible by workstations for indices and full-text information
  • Printer for every workstation (to speed information print-out)
  • Copy machine
  • Access to playback machines (video and sound)
  • Site license arrangements for software when necessary

 

In-building access

  • Networked from every instructional area to library resources
  • Internet access via netmodem and sufficient telephone support to allow 1/4 of largest expected class access at once
  • Network (phone line) access should mirror every electric outlet to allow for flexibility of equipment arrangement
  • Installation of wide-area-network to allow for after-school phone-in to use library resources
  • Appropriate licensing agreements for software

 

Distance access

  • Internet access via netmodem and sufficient telephone support to allow 1/4 of largest expected class access at once
  • Network (phone line) access should mirror every electric outlet to allow for flexibility of equipment arrangement
  • Installation of wide-area-network to allow for after-school phone-in to use library resources
  • Appropriate licensing agreements for software

 

Publishing and Presentation

 

Print

  • Word processing equipment
  • Laser printers (color)
  • Scanner
  • Poster printer
  • Laminators
  • Binding machines
  • Copy machines (color)

 

Video

  • Video cameras (several formats)
  • Video editing equipment (with computer interface for text, visual manipulation, etc.)
  • Video projector and interface with building network for projection
  • LCD plates capable of handling live-action video or computer projector

 

Compact disc/DVD

  • Equipment (computer and drive) for writing to compact disc (capable of enormous storage and easy playback)

 

Desktop presentation

  • Large capacity drives for presentation software
  • LCD plate with live action or computer projection system
  • Storage media (writable CD) or removable mass storage media

 

Library Management

 

Technical processes

  • Sufficient computer equipment to allow for an automated and integrated circulation and public access catalog system as well as equipment available for processing materials, ordering, etc.
  • Capability to access CD storage of student pictures and records in conjunction with circulation
  • Fax/printer for interlibrary loan and information exchange
  • Modem (either private or netmodem) always available for librarian

 

Instructional

  • Teaching station with all video, sound, network, etc. available in any classroom

 

For more specific information or help in planning a technology project for your library, contact the School Library Coordinator.

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