More end-of-year things to do in the school library

The last few weeks of school are upon us again! At this time of year, I start to have that feeling of wanting to 'get my house in order' before the summer break starts. Last November, we offered some tips and suggestions for getting through the end of the year in your school library. We've got a few more ideas to share before schools close for the summer holidays.

The end of the year in a school library can be an odd mixture of quiet and busy times — sometimes you're flat out (stocktake, anyone?), but you might also have some uninterrupted time. If you do find yourself with a bit of peace and quiet and an urge to do some library housekeeping, read on for suggestions ...

Person's hand holding a pen and creating a checklist
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters. Unsplash. License to use.

Check the information you share with others

Reviewing what's in your library collection is something that (hopefully) happens every year. Some library staff do it in one big hit, assessing and weeding the collection before stocktaking, for example. Others do it bit by bit throughout the year.

It's important to regularly review all the other resources you share as well, to keep them up-to-date and resolve any problems that might have cropped up.

  • Check the websites you've added to your catalogue or into curated collections online — make sure they're still useful and links aren't broken.
  • For example, have you saved or shared links to the Services to Schools website in the past? Check that your links point to our current web addresses — they should all start with:
  • Your Integrated Library System (ILS) may be able to check links automatically. Read through your ILS documentation or call your vendor if you need help with this.

Review the online tools you use

Web tools and platforms change over time, services come and go, and it's important to keep up with how this affects your library.

Learning management systems

Has your school introduced a new learning management system for teachers and students to share resources and manage their work? Could your library use this same platform too?

For instance, if your school uses Google Classroom, you might look into how a library classroom could work for sharing information about the library, as well as useful resources for students and teachers.

Screenshot of Google Classroom example showing resources about women's suffrage in NZ
Google Classroom in action.

Content curated with LiveBinders

If you use LiveBinders to curate content from around the web, you might have noticed an error message in your binder saying 'This is an http link in an https session'.

What's this about?

Almost half of all organisations on the web use encrypted, secure connections by default now. To see if your connection is secure, check the address bar in your browser — the URL should start with https rather than http.

Screenshot of the address bar of the Topic Explorer page within the National Library website which has a secure connection
What a secure connection looks like in the address bar of your browser.

Now, if someone with a secure connection looks at a link saved to your binder with an http URL, they’ll see the error message instead of the content you want them to see. You can edit your binder to fix this by simply changing links to use https.

Update your library documentation

If you've made changes to how things happen in your library — improving systems and processes, changing your borrowing limits, using new suppliers and so on — make sure it's all recorded and up-to-date in your library's documentation. We have resources to help you:

Are you leaving your school library?

If you're moving on at the end of this year, all the best for your next venture!

To help your replacement find their feet easily, think about leaving information such as:

Thank you to our school library readers

And finally, for all our readers in school libraries this year, a big thank you for the work you do supporting your school community.

Enjoy your summer!

By Miriam Tuohy

Miriam is the Senior Specialist (School Library Development) for Services to Schools.

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