Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
By Jill Driver
Last year my school had a consultant do an audit of ICT within the entire school. The aim was to consult everyone and form an all-encompassing plan for co-ordinated, logical and intelligent placement of ICT around the school, so all students would get maximum benefits from the service.
It is vital that school librarians are very pro-active; representing the library at this time, so that the research, information literacy, and other services the Library is providing, are recognised and supported in the new ICT plan.
Here are my suggestions for others whose schools undergo an ICT audit.
Request a meeting time with the auditor to discuss the Library service. You will need at least 20 minutes.Find out who is doing the audit. Investigate what experience the auditor has and where does he/she place the emphasis? Find out if the auditor is familiar with school libraries and education or just purely ICT orientated? Check out the website or blogs or articles the auditor has published. What language does the person use? Use the same terms in your presentation/discussion.
Ensure that you are ready with a vision and plan for the future development of the library and its services in your school. Consult your library users. Look at your library data. In particular, be very aware of the number and adequacy of other computer suites in your school. During the discussion always emphasize the entire library service and talk about ICT as one important part of this service.
Give the auditor a brief outline of the existing library service and usage of the library. Indicate any speciality areas that are particular to your school. Show where any current ICT equipment currently fits into your service delivery e.g. computers, wireless access, data projectors, smartboards, ipads/tablets, e-readers, digital cameras, OPACs et cetera.
Use evidence of the use of your existing ICT; data such as booking schedules, number of periods computers are used, use of library ICT resources for your own or other presentations, such as staff meetings, visiting presenters. Show planning progression through the past few years with Annual or Term Reports, budget requests etc.
Show, through the library’s input in to the Annual Strategic Plan, where the library service fits in to the proposed ICT landscape.
Outline your plan for developing your Library service for the next few years and the ICT required enhancing that service. For instance you may need new library software to incorporate e-books into your service, or you may need a smartboard for delivery of library lessons on internet searching or other library based skills.
Take control. Make sure your voice is heard. Be proactive to ensure positive outcomes for the library.
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