Modern librarians are tasked with teaching students how to navigate the internet with a discerning eye when working on research projects.
Students at Windsong Intermediate recently added a new online research tool. Rather than turning younger students loose on Google for research, FISD offers every student a universal search function, as well as an online library catalog search. Windsong Intermediate Library includes a paid subscription to World Book Online, which can be searched individually or through Universal Search.
The obvious benefits of using the universal search function is that the results are highly curated and contain links to authoritative and reliable websites as well as images and videos that are safe for young eyes.
“It’s helpful because it arms them with a research tool so that they don’t have to go to Google yet. It also teaches them how to evaluate sources for relevancy without having to sift through distracting content,” Susan Brisbay, librarian, Windsong said.
This is the first school year that the FISD library catalog and World Book Online have been linked into a single search function. This is also the first year in several years that Windsong has had a full-time librarian and GT specialist. Mrs. Brisbay and Ms. Moetteli felt like this opportunity for collaboration simply could not be missed.
Student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and users appreciate the easy-to-understand language in which the results are written, the relevancy of the results, and the Pinterest-style ability to save searches and articles—which is particularly helpful when students are researching projects for multiple classes.
Ann Moetteli’s 4th and 5th graders shared their thoughts on the recent universal search lesson they received from Librarian, Mrs. Brisbay.
“If you need help understanding something, you can get on and teach yourself.”
“You can save a project so you can go straight back to it once you log off and log back on.”
“If a teacher asks a question, you can go on your own to World Book and search for the answer.”
“At home, you can follow-up on things you were curious about in class.”
“It’s safe, your parents don’t have to approve it for you.”
“It allows you access to links not everyone has or knows about.”