After fifteen sessions of more than an hour each over the last three weeks, all the 9th graders (and a few non-9th graders) have been introduced to the library and it's resources. This the earliest we have been able to complete the orientations and I will admit it feels great.
The last class to be introduced to the library was Mr. McDaniel's Alpha class (World Cultures & Geography) and I have to give them a lot of credit because they were very attentive during the presentation which took place right after lunch. All the classes were very attentive and responsive which is important because there is, despite my having to talk a lot, a good deal of give and take during the presentation.
The presentation uses SpongeBob SquarePants and the denizens of Bikini Bottom to help get its points across. (My favorite is Gary, SpongeBob's loyal, meowing snail pet, who wants to be a librarian as revealed in "Sleepy Time" an episode in which SpongeBob enters various critter's dreams). It starts with basic library policies and rules, talks about physical resources of the library including books (fiction and non-fiction, circulating and reference), pamphlet file materials, audio book, textbooks, videos, maps, and periodicals. We discuss how to access those resources using Sequoyah, the library's catalog. I then demonstrate the library's web site with it's myriad of online resources. Particular attention is paid to two databases, Student Research Center, provided by EBSCOhost and CountryWatch, a geographical database. Both of these are subscription databases which require a user ID and password so we explore how to find those passwords online using the Redwood website. We also take a look at MARINet, the catalog for the Marin County libraries. We introduce the library staff as well.
I really enjoy doing the presentations each year and want to thank the World Cultures & Geography teachers, Claire Ernst, Nicolle Plescia, Jon Hirsch, Eric Berridge, and Jim McDaniel for getting their classes scheduled in so promptly and helping with the presentation and follow-up assignments. All the teachers gave credit to their students for their participation.