Great digital literacy skills ideas for your school library


Great digital literacy skills ideas for your school library

School libraries play an important role in equipping students with the digital literacy skills they need to effectively navigate the sea of information available online. However when digital natives feel like they are already masters of the online search, how can teacher librarians tailor the curriculum to engage their students and achieve a positive outcome that extends beyond theoretical research? We’ve pulled together some ideas from around the world for you to draw on in your school library.

Digital literacy skills in school libraries

Health literacy skills

For adolescents, the Internet has become a primary source of answers to the health questions they feel embarrassed or scared to talk to their peers about. However, the misinformation on offer through Dr Google can contribute to dangerous student health outcomes.

In Assessing the Digital Health Literacy Skills of Tween Participants in a School-Library-Based After-School Program, the researchers developed a Digital Healthy Literacy Assessment Tool which uncovered that specific digital health literacy skills are needed to ensure students have the necessary skills to successfully find, assess, manage, and make use of health information online.

Helpful resources:

Evaluating Internet Health Information: A Tutorial from the National Library of Medicine

Online health information - what can you trust?

Political literacy skills

In the age of fake news and alternative facts, School libraries, political information and information literacy provision: findings from a Scottish study, looks at the role that school libraries can take in providing access to political information and skills on how to navigate the plethora of information generated by the 24 hour news cycle.

Helpful Resources:

Lesson plan: How to teach your students about fake news

How to Spot Fake News - also has a number of resources that can be used in lesson plans

Safe Internet Use

A 2016 study explored where people got their advice about online security, and how useful it actually was. Survey respondents who said they received their advice from teachers or librarians reported the lowest frequency of negative online experiences, reinforcing the importance of digital literacy skills programs in school libraries.

Helpful Resources:

Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner - Classroom Resources

The role of the school library catalogue in supporting digital literacy

The National Library of New Zealand has published information on how school libraries can support students’ digital literacy. Core to their message is that school libraries need to provide easily accessible, quality, curated digital resources. They suggest that school’s should aim to provide 24/7 access to digital resources and that the integrated library system (such as Oliver v5), library blog or website, school learning management system, or curated content collections are ideal options.

Oliver v5 allows school libraries to:

  • Build and publish curated reading lists that feature both physical and electronic resources
  • Access eBooks and audiobooks from the OverDrive and Wheelers collections directly from the Oliver v5 search interface
  • Catalogue digital content including videos, websites, audio. School libraries that subscribe to SCIS can also access thousands of catalogue records for digital content including educational websites, apps and eBooks
  • Integrate with educational content providers such as ClickView to embed trusted educational digital content directly within the library catalogue
  • Provide 24/7 access from anywhere, anytime. As no software downloads are required, Oliver works is compatible with all computer systems, tablets and mobile devices
  • Use the integrated Federated Search / Search Other Sources features to discover resources feom multiple sources simultaneously (including paid subscription databases and the local catalogue) in real time, direct from the Oliver v5 search screen
  • Encourage student progression through reading levels via the display of Accelerated Reader quiz information
  • Share book ratings and reviews within the school community

To find out more about how Oliver v5 supports digital literacy in schools please visit or contact your local Softlink consultant.