BLOGS  >  OCTOBER 7, 2020

Follett eBooks: Helping Make Our School Libraries Essential Partners

BY FRAN GLICK


Today, Glick is the Coordinator of Library Media & Instructional Technology for Baltimore County Public Schools, and she is well known beyond the state of Maryland. Glick was named a Mover and Shaker by Library Journal in 2018, she earned the Women in School Leadership Award from the School Superintendents Association (AASA), and in the same year her library earned School Library Journal’s National School Library Program of the Year Award. She continues to focus on connecting children to books using technology in everything she does.

BCPS is one of the largest school systems in the United States, and its Student & Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (STAT) initiative meant implementing a 1:1 digital solution while also giving students increased access to digital curriculum materials. Glick said she knew eBooks would need to be an integral part of that plan.

“As we prepared for all students having access to a personal device for learning, we knew that our library collections must include an intentional shift to eBook content,” Glick said. “We suggested a specific action in collection development to include eBooks in order to build a high-quality collection of print and non-print resources in every school in our district.”

The library system in the district was already using Follett Destiny® Library Manager, which gave Glick and her team a powerful way to manage, discover and access eBooks from Follett. They began to curate their eBook collection with intention, carefully developing a collection of eBooks that best supports curriculum, standards, usage, and classroom engagements. “We looked to nonfiction to support curriculum, fiction titles that serve as anchor or mentor texts and those popular titles that we can never have enough of. We also worked to provide students at all levels with titles on sensitive topics, and we knew Follett eBooks provide privacy in access.”

“We partnered with our curriculum offices and collaborated on specific titles that are included in their lessons so that the title is available for all students and teachers and directly linked from Destiny into our learning management system,” Glick said. “This is a game changer in making connections between school libraries and classrooms.”

Those connections are strengthened and enabled through Follett’s Unlimited Simultaneous Access eBooks, which give an unlimited number of teachers and students 24/7 access to thousands of Follett eBooks. For Glick, this meant the difference between nice to have and essential.

“Giving the opportunity for all students to engage with a text at the same time is significant,” Glick said. “It also provides teachers with texts to project in whole- or small-group instruction in order to model reading strategies, text features, or content in a way that students can mirror and apply to their own process.”

Baltimore County School System’s library curriculum includes direct instruction on the differences in reading online and in print. Glick says this is a critical skill for students, who regularly consume a large amount of digital content. 

“Our intentional work at creating high-quality, blended learning environments supports student achievement,” Glick said. “Any library program would benefit by including eBooks, and I would encourage others to develop eBook collections with intention. The collaborations and specific curation will make a difference in usage.”

Check out our top 5 most popular eBooks
Find everything you need for your digital library on Titlewave®


FRAN GLICK 
Former Coordinator, Library Media & Instructional Technology
Baltimore County Public Schools
Baltimore, MD

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