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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Enhancing the MS Library Website: the Portal to the Library and its Information.

As middle school librarian, I am constantly challenged to find new and innovative ways of providing user-friendly, easily accessible quality information for our students. With this in mind, my launch grant is designed to enhance the ms library website, the portal to the library and its information. I used a three-pronged approach:

1. I re-created the MS website using Google Applications, because it’s more readily accessible, easier to navigate and it lacks the many layers of password protection required by the previous website created with First Class’s Rapid Web Design. Check it out at

2. I explored the various subscription databases, e-books and websites linked on the website. I experimented with a variety of search engines and directories. I conducted searches typical for MS science and history classes, the two primary subjects for which our MS students conduct research. I determined that some databases are more useful to our curriculum than others. Facts on File history databases were quite helpful, but the Science Online database was not as useful for science fair research as simply using search engines such as Advanced Google and Sweet Search. Our task now is to integrate effective search strategies and website evaluation skills within MS curriculum. I look forward to working with the BB&N community as we move forward in this effort.

3. I am seeking student input to develop new aspects of the website, including blogs and book trailers, for the upcoming Read-a-thon and Community Read, visuals, voice thread, and potentially, in the near future, entertaining online skills instruction on the website. I’m trying to make the site more interactive and engaging.

Beth Brooks, MS Library Director, All School Library Coordinator

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