Accessit Library is a hub for a range of resources that help schools build a connected community of learners. The homegrown library management system is more than a catalogue, however, it’s an evolving resource hub that can link with new and free ways to put knowledge at the fingertips of teachers and tamariki.
New Zealand schools are lucky. Yes, we may face many issues, but there is one place that our librarians know we are winning, and that’s access to research sources for our students. Google search results can’t always be trusted, so in our quest to create thoughtful and smart researchers we must provide access to creditable resources.
Thanks to the Ministry of Education and the National Library, our schools have access to an amazing range of resources for free – the EPIC resources. These databases cover all learning areas in our primary and secondary school curricula and are accessible at school and at home.
Answers to questions
From Gale to EBCSO’s MasterFILE Complete, plus international publications, art, music and Te Tiriti o Waitangi resources, the EPIC databases – giving access to thousands of high-quality journals, magazines, books, audio-visual items, images, and other online content – provide schools and students with the answers to many questions!
We just need to get these resources used more, and that requires access and searchability.
Our aim at Accessit Library has been to make research accessible and approachable, and search has been at the forefront of that goal. Our search understands the communication levels of a wide range of literacy capabilities, ensuring students can get the answers they need.
Basic autocomplete is a form of assistance we all know and love, but it’s our intuitive searching that really helps learners to succeed. Phonetic and truncated searching are the true heroes in Accessit Library – whether it’s spelling giraffe the way it sounds (‘jiraff’) or using partial words when looking for The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (lion witch ward), Accessit can rationalise and identify the most relevant words to use.
This means students can get to the right resource rather than being disheartened by subpar results.
We also utilise Visual Search, meaning students can find the right area of resources even if they don’t know the words to get them there.
An add-on to one of Accessit’s popular additional features – Syndetics Unbound – is Proquest’s exciting new AI-enhanced Talpa Search (talpa.ai). It will look for things like the type of book or the colour of its cover. It will then find the most relevant results and match it to what you have in your own library. It’s truly amazing!
Credible and trustworthy
How can you put the search and resources together? Accessit Library has One Search, which looks beyond the books and resources in your school’s library and can search linked online databases, such as the EPIC databases, that you subscribe to.
Put it all together and you have the resources and the search features to ensure your students find the answers to their questions, using sources you’ve identified as credible and trustworthy. Nothing makes homework easier while also empowering students to build their research skills.
The resources are free. Are you and your students getting the most out of them?
By AJ Johnston, Accessit Library and lifelong learner
Find out more about the EPIC database resources at natlib.govt.nz/librarians/epic
For more on Accessit Library go to accessitlibrary.com/great/
INTERFACE July 2023