It is August and the school bells are beginning to signal the end-of-summer break. As a high school librarian, I always want to make sure that the new freshmen students have a thorough understanding of everything our school library and digital learning lab offer. I have also realized that our school’s faculty and staff, new and old, need a refresher of our services since our school has seen tremendous growth and changes in the past three years. Our student orientation has shifted focus from “Where in the library can you find?” to “What can our school library do for you both at school and at home?” I run our school’s digital learning lab called the LiNK. I use Prezi to inform our students about what the LiNK is and what is available for them there. Since I work in conjunction with our school library, I include information on our physical and digital collections as well. The current orientation can be found here.
The faculty orientation happens in two parts. New teachers are not aware of the amount of the media and technology resources our school has, so I created the Basics Orientation. It details the data (ie. how many we have of this and that) and what to do if they need assistance. I usually do the Basics Orientation during our pre-planning days with all teachers. The Tech Tools Orientation is what I find most useful as it generates “business” for our media services. Many high school teachers still have the mindset that the school library is for English classes to use for research. I want to make sure that all faculty understands that we have worked and will work with all departments. This orientation is updated as needed with the latest projects that students have created and also updated with new tools that we discover and implement throughout the year. I present this orientation during the year on Tech Tuesdays or in Lunch Learn sessions, and I love the immediate response from teachers wanting to try out new things with their classes.
As common place as back to school orientations can be, they are very beneficial as they provide students AND faculty the necessary information to get the most out of your school library. Get creative and have fun with your orientations and your school library services are sure to reap the benefits!