Your library's digital collection

Curate digital content for your school library.
Support digital literacy by including quality digital resources in your school library collection, curating digital content to add value for students, and providing equitable access to digital resources for teachers and students.
  • Digital resources are valuable for learning

    Digital resources are valuable for many learning activities and provide:

    • content to spark curiosity
    • information for a range of inquiry learning activities
    • a complement to physical resources, including print
    • opportunities to apply critical thinking.

    Digital resources provide students with rich information right at their fingertips. They come in many formats, for example:

    • written — documents, eBooks, encyclopaedias and newspapers
    • audio — podcasts, radio and music
    • audio-visual — videos
    • static — images, infographics and galleries
    • dynamic — websites, databases and social media
    • Open Educational Resources (OER) — open licence digital teaching and learning materials.
  • Digital resources are valuable for learning

    Digital resources are valuable for many learning activities and provide:

    • content to spark curiosity
    • information for a range of inquiry learning activities
    • a complement to physical resources, including print
    • opportunities to apply critical thinking.

    Digital resources provide students with rich information right at their fingertips. They come in many formats, for example:

    • written — documents, eBooks, encyclopaedias and newspapers
    • audio — podcasts, radio and music
    • audio-visual — videos
    • static — images, infographics and galleries
    • dynamic — websites, databases and social media
    • Open Educational Resources (OER) — open licence digital teaching and learning materials.
  • Developing your digital collection

    An inclusive school library collection can include a variety of quality digital resources. An effective digital collection will:

    • meet the learning needs of students
    • be aligned with the learning priorities and pedagogies of your school, and
    • complement any physical collection.

    Building an inclusive collection

    In developing your collection of digital resources, first consider the mission and goals of your school library. These can usually be found in your library's guiding documents.

    Library guiding documents

    Before you choose resources you may need to do a needs assessment to work out the type of digital resources you need, and what access to them teachers and students need. Talking to teachers and students can help with this.

    Assessing your school library collection

    School community profile — identifies the characteristics of your students, teachers and the local community.

    From this you can develop a set of criteria which will make it easier to evaluate resources for your collection. You may also need to consider putting together policies and procedures for:

    • selection, collection, storage and curation of digital resources, and
    • your library’s online presence including how digital resources can be accessed.

    Working out your library's collection requirements

    It's also a good idea to work out who is responsible for championing digital literacy and digital citizenship in your school.

    Developing digital citizenship

  • Developing your digital collection

    An inclusive school library collection can include a variety of quality digital resources. An effective digital collection will:

    • meet the learning needs of students
    • be aligned with the learning priorities and pedagogies of your school, and
    • complement any physical collection.

    Building an inclusive collection

    In developing your collection of digital resources, first consider the mission and goals of your school library. These can usually be found in your library's guiding documents.

    Library guiding documents

    Before you choose resources you may need to do a needs assessment to work out the type of digital resources you need, and what access to them teachers and students need. Talking to teachers and students can help with this.

    Assessing your school library collection

    School community profile — identifies the characteristics of your students, teachers and the local community.

    From this you can develop a set of criteria which will make it easier to evaluate resources for your collection. You may also need to consider putting together policies and procedures for:

    • selection, collection, storage and curation of digital resources, and
    • your library’s online presence including how digital resources can be accessed.

    Working out your library's collection requirements

    It's also a good idea to work out who is responsible for championing digital literacy and digital citizenship in your school.

    Developing digital citizenship

  • Selecting the right digital resources

    When you're selecting digital resources, consider their cost, quality and ongoing management, and whether they:

    • can be accessed and used independently by students
    • are owned by library or are just accessed online
    • need a user account and login
    • are compatible across a range of browsers, platforms and devices
    • offer user support, such as help screens and video tutorials
    • support students with sight or hearing impairments, for example by changing the size of the font.

    The National Library provides access to a range of quality digital resources. Many are free to use and specifically selected for schools. We curate these resources to support inquiry-based learning and research across the curriculum.

    Digital resources and guides

  • Selecting the right digital resources

    When you're selecting digital resources, consider their cost, quality and ongoing management, and whether they:

    • can be accessed and used independently by students
    • are owned by library or are just accessed online
    • need a user account and login
    • are compatible across a range of browsers, platforms and devices
    • offer user support, such as help screens and video tutorials
    • support students with sight or hearing impairments, for example by changing the size of the font.

    The National Library provides access to a range of quality digital resources. Many are free to use and specifically selected for schools. We curate these resources to support inquiry-based learning and research across the curriculum.

    Digital resources and guides

  • Curating digital resources

    Curation is the process of:

    • selecting, sorting and arranging content on a specific topic or theme
    • adding value and meaning to what has been curated for your users.

    Curating content — information about the process and some useful tools

    Curation has always been integral to services provided by school libraries. You can also curate digital content for your school's collection. Teachers and students can curate their own digital resources using a variety of tools, such as Scoop.it!, Pinterest, Pearltrees and LiveBinders.

    Scoop.it! — a content curation and publishing platform

    Pinterest — an online 'catalogue of ideas'

    Pearltrees — a place to organise and share resources that has a specific education focus

    LiveBinders — like a virtual ringbinder for curating information

  • Curating digital resources

    Curation is the process of:

    • selecting, sorting and arranging content on a specific topic or theme
    • adding value and meaning to what has been curated for your users.

    Curating content — information about the process and some useful tools

    Curation has always been integral to services provided by school libraries. You can also curate digital content for your school's collection. Teachers and students can curate their own digital resources using a variety of tools, such as Scoop.it!, Pinterest, Pearltrees and LiveBinders.

    Scoop.it! — a content curation and publishing platform

    Pinterest — an online 'catalogue of ideas'

    Pearltrees — a place to organise and share resources that has a specific education focus

    LiveBinders — like a virtual ringbinder for curating information

  • Creating easy access to digital resources

    Providing equitable access to digital resources is important within a school. It helps support digital literacy, digital citizenship and learning in general.

    How you choose to provide access depends on your students' learning needs. Different students may need different access points. Observe your students' online habits to understand their preferences and skills. Talk with teachers to understand how staff access and use digital resources.

    Creating easy access to digital resources needs careful management. When you select and acquire digital resources, you need to think about:

    • how you'll organise, catalogue and store them
    • what technology arrangements you'll need to make for providing access, and
    • how you'll manage security.

    For example, you could:

    • aim for easy, 24/7 access — so students can access digital resources away from school
    • store resources on a server at your school or in the cloud.

    Options for providing access

    The ways you can provide access to digital resources include using your:

    • Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) — this provides access via keyword searching when digital resources have been catalogued in your Integrated Library System (ILS)
    • library's blog or website — where you can include pages for digital resources and research help
    • school's learning management system — there you can incorporate digital resources within a specific learning context
    • curated content collections — these add value to the digital resources in your collection.
  • Creating easy access to digital resources

    Providing equitable access to digital resources is important within a school. It helps support digital literacy, digital citizenship and learning in general.

    How you choose to provide access depends on your students' learning needs. Different students may need different access points. Observe your students' online habits to understand their preferences and skills. Talk with teachers to understand how staff access and use digital resources.

    Creating easy access to digital resources needs careful management. When you select and acquire digital resources, you need to think about:

    • how you'll organise, catalogue and store them
    • what technology arrangements you'll need to make for providing access, and
    • how you'll manage security.

    For example, you could:

    • aim for easy, 24/7 access — so students can access digital resources away from school
    • store resources on a server at your school or in the cloud.

    Options for providing access

    The ways you can provide access to digital resources include using your:

    • Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) — this provides access via keyword searching when digital resources have been catalogued in your Integrated Library System (ILS)
    • library's blog or website — where you can include pages for digital resources and research help
    • school's learning management system — there you can incorporate digital resources within a specific learning context
    • curated content collections — these add value to the digital resources in your collection.
  • Find out more

  • Find out more