In this time of online learning, the importance of the library web page has increased. We have a library web page that students can access from home and school, but we always counted on the connecting piece of face-to-face learning with students. We created Libguides with instructional components, but those components were enhanced with discussions, whole class instruction, or small group instruction.
Through this experience, I discovered areas of the web page that weren’t working–either too much information, not enough description, or design flaws. I decided to start revamping the database links page. I think most libraries have a page on their site that lists all the databases. Many have logos and descriptions.
I started asking questions about my database web page:
- How does this page help students?
- If I were a student conducting research, which link would I click first? Why?
- Where would I look for basic information about a topic?
I realized that my database page was just a bunch of links. I divided the databases by content area, provided descriptions, and even added a nice icon. Most students are going to scan the list and need assistance. See the screenshot below of the before page.
I am now redoing the web page to have helpful headings to give students an idea of which database to choose and how to begin. I may list only three databases for an area as to not overwhelm. The screenshot below is just a starting page for students who need guidance.
How do you help students choose a database to begin research? Please post links to your database web page so we can learn from each other.
Author: Becca Munson
Becca Munson, Librarian, is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 24 years of experience in education. Becca is the Coordinator for Library Systems in the Blue Valley School District. Previously, she was school librarian at Blue Valley West High School. She opened two buildings in Blue Valley and spent some time as an Ed Tech Specialist before returning to libraries. Becca supports over 45 librarians and support staff as they work to fulfill the mission of flexible scheduling, collaboration, and literacy.