School library staff often ask us for advice on how they can promote Oliver to their students, teachers, and parents to get them actively engaging in their school library. Rather than giving our opinion, we’ve decided to pass on some feedback from the experts, our customers.
Thank you to all the clients who provided feedback, with special thanks to the library staff at Chairo Christian School (VIC), WA College of Agriculture (WA), Sacred Heart College (VIC) and Mt St Michael’s College (QLD).
Below is a list of suggested techniques and tools that Teacher Librarians are successfully applying in their schools
Create a start of year Library Orientation Program, with short library lessons for each class in the first few weeks of the school year. Here are some suggestions for what to include:
- General library information
- Small practical exercises to practise library skills, for example how to conduct an OPAC search using basic, advanced and federated searching techniques.
- Show students how to access Oliver on their iPad or computer. Get them to test any shortcuts etc. to make sure they know how things work and where to find them.
- Show students how to set up Interests in Oliver to receive alerts for their personal reading preferences.
Consider how students access Oliver Search
- Set up dedicated OPAC terminals in the library for easy access
- Include a shortcut to Oliver on student laptops
- Put a link to Oliver on student iPads
Hold weekly Library Classes teaching the students how to:
- Search Oliver using basic, advanced and federated searching techniques
- Understand the difference between keyword and subject searches etc.
- Use additional information like Series to find similar resources
- Refine a search by campus and resource type etc.
- Use the home page to access useful information such as links to subscription databases or carousels with new books
- Customise Orbit settings such as avatar, background and colour scheme
- Write book reviews in either Oliver or Orbit
- Find their current and overdue loans in Oliver
- Find new items advertised in Oliver
- Find their loan history in Oliver and see what authors/series they may have previously enjoyed
- Use Oliver’s Recommended and More Like This to find new books to read
- Use Reading Lists to locate popular resources or assignment material
- Use the Library Map to find resources
Revamp your Library Displays
- Display Oliver/Orbit on an interactive whiteboard to remind students that they are there and how to use them
- Have the Oliver/Orbit Home Page displayed on a TV monitor or screen at the front of the library to advertise library events and new resources etc.
- Use notice boards around the school to display posters advertising library activities and services including the library catalogue
- Use the bookmarks and posters provided by the Softlink Marketing Team to advertise your library (click here to download)
Boost your Circulation
- Encourage students to borrow by allowing them to use Oliver’s self-checkout functionality at dedicated self-checkout terminals
Make a presentation at full school assembly or staff meetings explaining:
- The purpose of Oliver
- How to find Oliver
- How to do a basic Oliver search
- What else you can find in an Oliver search
- How Oliver can help different people in different roles
Link to your school portal/website
- Share the links to Oliver/Orbit with students, teachers and parents via the school’s education portal.
- Put a link to Oliver/Orbit on the school website
Everyone loves a competition!
- Use the resource review tool in Oliver as the competition for Book Week – students enter by writing a review and posting it in Oliver/Orbit. Prizes for the best review in each grade level.
- Organise scavenger/treasure hunts where students use Oliver and Orbit to locate items, resources or sections throughout the library to complete the hunt
Make communication work for you
- Promote the library via school newsletters; remind parents that they can check their child’s loans from home
- Email parents and teachers about Oliver/Orbit and how to access it at the start of the school year
Create your own poster
- Our friends at Softlink IC have launched a free tool to help you promote your library! Visit the Share My Library App to create your own custom QR code and image for your library catalog. With just one scan from a smartphone, your library users can connect to your library and engage!
I hope you have found a few ideas here that can inspire you with new ways to promote your library to the school.
Editors note: This blog was originally published in December 2016, updated in August 2022 for freshness, accuracy, and relevancy.