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Welcome back – the books missed you!


Welcome back to school

With United Kingdom students returning to school, we’d like to send out a big “welcome back!” to all the library staff out there. Start of year procedures are probably well underway with student records to add and update, lending rules to modify and several other admin duties.  

For all the Oliver v5 users out there, we have a collection of start of year processes videos on the Customer Portal to help you with this. Simply go to Learn > Year in the life of the library.

Once you have your admin under control its time to move onto the fun stuff! Here are some ideas we had...

Welcome back school library display
Upton Hall - Welcome back display

Create your welcome back display

Displays are a great way to engage students with the library! Some oldy but goody display favourites of ours include:  

  • Welcome back the books missed you
  • Escape to everywhere
  • Get cosy with a book
  • Launch into Orbit (for schools using Oliver’s junior interface)

Add reading lists to your system

Perhaps you could tie your welcome back display in with a reading list that you can share with staff and students in a welcome back email (whilst inviting them to come and take a peek at your brilliant new display).  

Other ideas include creating a reading list of popular reads from last term, events and celebrations, reading awards or challenges, or even involving teachers and creating reading lists for assignments or staff favourite books (another great display idea!).

For Oliver users, check out our blog Everything you wanted to know about reading lists but were afraid to ask for more tips and some short ‘how to’ videos.

Reading lists

Spruce up your OPAC

Your library home page can be an effective way to communicate with students and staff, to promote the library and events, and to showcase resources.  

  • Showcase new titles
  • Share information about events happening in your library or literacy events within the school
  • Draw attention to an underused resource for example ClickView videos or databases
  • Embed videos, for example, a guided tour of the OPAC, or perhaps an online safety video
  • Create a survey to find out what your students think of your library, ways you can improve your library, or titles they would like to see included in your library
  • Add genre icons to help connect students to books they will love. For people using the free genre icons available with Oliver, we have also created some matching genre posters and genre bingo available to download here

Guided tour for students

To get the most out of your library management system, and support your students, it can be helpful to provide a guided tour for new or returning students.  

To help support Oliver users, we have created Orbit and Oliver guided tour videos for students (below) which can be embedded on your library home page, especially helpful if you don’t have time or opportunity to deliver an orientation program.

Connect with other library staff

There are a number of fantastic associations, networks social media groups, and passionate individuals out there that offer resources and support to school library staff. To help get you started read School library leaders, advocates, and influencers, which features comments from the 2020 School Library Survey – United Kingdom. (Many of those mentioned can also be found on Twitter).

Oliver v5 users can also connect with other users, both locally and globally, via the Customer Portal. The Customer Portal is a great place to ask questions, share your knowledge, join discussion groups, and access training documentation and videos. To learn more, click on the links below.


SHOUT… about your library, about your new display, about information literacy, about research skills, about your new stock, about your old stock, about how great you are, because you are, and your students need you and their library!

Looking for ideas to promote the library? Here are some tips from respondents to the School Library Surveys:

  • Involve the students – peer promotion is a powerful tool! Do you have student helpers in the library? Ask them for ideas to promote the library, let them organise groups or clubs, and involve them in library displays.
  • Engage teaching staff – do your teaching staff know what a fantastic resource they have available to them? Shoot them an email letting them know how the library can help, set up a book display in the staff room, ask if you can present at a staff meeting or present book talks in their classroom.
  • Make an “Introducing the library video” – perhaps this can be shared on your school website or in your library management system
  • Ask to speak on assembly
  • Write articles for the school newsletter
  • LearnPath for Oliver v5 can be a great way to promote library resources. To find out more, read this blog post or watch this short video.

To read the full feature article click here.

Finally, take a minute to pause (perhaps with a nice cuppa!) and enjoy being back in your school library.  

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