Knox Grammar LibPaths Experience
Knox Grammar School is recognised as one of the largest Independent boys’ schools in Australia, with over 3000 students across 3 campuses from Pre K – Year 12, 200 of whom reside in the Knox Boarding facility. Established in 1924, Knox is a Uniting Church school which operates on the premise of “innovation wrapped in tradition” and which recognises the value and importance of technology in education, having introduced a 1:1 laptop program prior to the year 2000. In our 5 separate school library operations, we aim to provide the highest quality resources and services to our school community. Using Infiniti as our library management system has been integral to our forward planning and our commitment to implementing best practice technology applications.
We subscribed to LibGuides in 2012 to facilitate a web presence for our senior school libraries that offered easy access to our online information resources, while at school or home. A portal for students and staff was created and over time, we uncovered that this solution became complex and overwhelming. Our library staff was unable to spend the time necessary to become an expert with the back-end, something that we determined was required to get the most out of our chosen solution. Resistance among the students to using two different curation tools, namely the library database and LibGuides, to conduct their search for quality information, was also observed. This ultimately resulted in students opting to use Google exclusively and failing to develop their information literacy skills suffciently. We were keen to streamline our portal, keep it simple, and present information in a manner that was visually appealing
Having recognised the possibility of using LibPaths to replace the previous solution, we appreciate the increased functionality that was developed in LibPaths this past year. We are now enabled to transfer all of our current online content across from one platform to the other. LibPaths is user-friendly and easy to manipulate, providing all staff with the ability to contribute to the development of the new portal. Operating as a portal for Infiniti, LibPaths is a more cost-effective and time-effcient curation tool with a modern and clean look appealing to staff and students alike. Users can now conduct federated searches from within the library database, encouraging them to persevere and access information that is of good quality, up-to-date and reliable from our selection of online databases.
To effect a smooth transfer of content from our previous solution while we created our first LibPath portal, we maintained simultaneous access to both systems. Our Heads of Departments were eager to help to ensure the relevance and usefulness of curriculum content. It was very easy to copy and paste from LibGuides to LibPaths, and also simple to copy within LibPaths in order to create separate portals for each of our five libraries. The process was initiated with the McKenzie Library (Years 7-10) database due to the larger number of students involved, and the experience was so positive that we have now also developed our senior library portal with more specific resources for our Year 11 and 12 students. LibPaths’ functionality allows access privileges to be controlled for different groups of users, providing the flexibility of various elements being turned on and off depending on our requirements at any particular time.
The fact that LibPaths offers a “one stop shop” solution is greatly appreciated when we have limited opportunities to address our large cohorts of students and demonstrate our resources and services. We believe it will ensure our patrons use their online time more effectively and develop their digital literacy skills more appropriately. We are thrilled with the functionality and ease of use of our new library management solution
Beth Treseder, Head of Information Services, Knox Grammar School