November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

The Follett–BiblioNasium Partnership at Work

books

When Follett’s Destiny Library Manager joined forces with BiblioNasium’s so-called “GoodReads for Kids” digital platform, which allows students to recommend and discuss books, the reach of resources already in school libraries was extended.

“We were very excited about our partnership with Follett. [Since June,] we are offering a valuable platform to support more comprehensive reading programs,” BiblioNasium founder and CEO, Marjan Ghara, told SLJ.

We asked Ghara, who says her passion is to get kids hooked on reading, to drill down on what the practical differences of the integrated platform have been for librarians.

“The general consensus is that kids love it and are logging in to recommend books to their friends. Also, librarians are using it to set up reading challenges,” she notes. “They’re co-managing the groups with classroom teachers, which is helpful in bridging the gap between libraries and classrooms.”

Jennifer Underhill is a librarian at a K–12 school within Florida State University Schools, a developmental research school sponsored by Florida State University. “Our elementary students are using BiblioNasium to track the books they’ve read this year. Each time they read a book, they add it to their bookshelf and write a book review…They’re reflecting on what they’ve read and what types of books they enjoy, as well as strengthening their writing skills,” says Underhill.

Specific features that have proven particularly popular, according to Ghara, are:

A single sign-on. Students and educators are automatically signed into BiblioNasium with their Destiny IDs and passwords. That saves class time and the effort of having to keep track of two user IDs/passwords.

Real-time book statuses. The school’s library catalog is connected and integrated with BiblioNasium. All search results and all users’ (students as well as staff) bookshelves include real-time information regarding the status of any book. “When a student finds a book in BiblioNasium that was recommended by a friend, she can easily tell if it’s available in the library,” says Underhill.

Seamless interaction between title pages. For any book available in a school library, there will be link from the BiblioNasium title page to the corresponding title page in the Destiny catalog. Students and educators can then perform any library function normally available to them (check out, put on hold, etc.).

Custom reports with actionable data. Librarians and classroom teachers have access to reports on their students’ favorite books and the titles on their wish lists. Educators also get a run-down of which of those titles are not yet available in their school library. “These reports are providing powerful information to help librarians with their collection planning and management,” says Ghara.

More targeted reading programs. The detailed information on students’ reading levels, preferences, and habits are aiding librarians in setting up more effective reading challenges and other programs. They are also the information to curate book lists and point students to books that they might not otherwise have considered.

“Partnering with BiblioNasium is part of our ongoing commitment to connect libraries and librarians with students and parents,” said Nader Qaimari, president, Follett School Solutions. “BiblioNasium’s integration with Follett Destiny empowers our customers with a positive, powerful, and safe way to engage young readers. It is yet another tool we offer to help kids fall in love with reading.”

More details about how the new integrated platform works is available at the BiblioNasium site.

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Christina Vercelletto About Christina Vercelletto

Christina Vercelletto is School Library Journal’s former news editor. An award-winning writer and editor, Vercelletto has held staff positions at Babytalk, Parenting, Scholastic Parent & Child, and NYMetroParents.com.

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