Introduction to AccessIT

  • Pupils work in pairs/threes.
  • Demonstrate a search on AccessIT.
  • Ask them to find a book that’s not on loan on a given topic e.g. an animal of their choice. Ask them to write down all of the information they need to find the book on the shelf (author, title, class no, location) and then show you the information. If they’ve done that correctly, then they try to find the book!
  • They should bring you the book they’ve found to check against their written notes, so you can point out the differences and why they’re important.
  • If they can’t find it, I usually ask them to think about why not, and then ask the class at the end. They usually figure out that it’s been mis-shelved (which helps get the message home a little more about not just dumping the books wherever they feel like it) or being used by someone else.


Give an old book a break

Make up a sob story about how lonely some books are on the shelf, and how, even if they’re old, they still need company. In fact, they need it more, because they can’t get out and about by themselves anymore. Once the class have decided you’re certifiable, ask them to choose a book on the grounds of its appearance – a sad and lonely looking book that nobody has read in ages.

Not only does this encourage the class to look more widely, and sometimes find a book they’d never have touched otherwise, it’s also a handy way to gauge pupil reactions to your stock.


The returned book pile

The Returned Books pile is a magnet for pupils who want to see what everyone else as been reading. Try planting some decent but overlooked books in there and see if they get selected.

If a pupil has borrowed a book from the shelf, but they don’t know where it goes, I ask them to leave it on the Returned Books pile. I’d rather hunt in one place than all over the LRC for that annoying missing item!


Print a barcode for each pupil and stick it inside their homework planner. Makes issuing much quicker.


Book spine poetry

– make poems with the titles of books, displaying them side on.


Read Wherever You Like Day

At the suggestion of an English teacher we invited classes to sit wherever they liked in the Library. The only rule was that they MUST READ!

The results were quite amazing. Some of them chose to squash together on comfy seats, others under tables, lying on their stomachs or with bags under their heads.

Some classes took to it more than others obviously, but even the jumpiest individuals managed to read quietly for ten minutes and by far the majority for over half an hour without constantly changing books over, talking to friends and trying to break the peace.


Online Bribes 

Or to put it in more professional terms, Encouragement and Negotiation.

Every now and again, a class comes along that needs a bit of time out from all that reading and researching that we insist upon. Sometimes, it’s easier to encourage them with the promise of a game at the end. Others have completed all their tasks and are looking for something else to do.

These three websites will keep a class occupied at the end of a period, while being intellectually stimulating, educationally sound, valuable for practising turn-taking, communication and decision-making skills and really good fun. (They work best with an interactive whiteboard but will be effective so long as the screen can be clearly seen by everyone, so displaying onto a wall is fine too.) If you know of any more suitable for a whole class please let me know.

  1. FreeRice
    FreeRice is a wonderful idea and very simple. For every correct answer to a multiple choice question, sponsors provide money to buy 10 grains of rice. The rice goes to the United Nations Food Programme. Most classes absolutely adore this and the competitive edge isn’t long in appearing.
  2. Sporcle
    Sporcle is a list game. There are hundreds of different quizzes, from naming countries of the world, to the top 100 best selling singles. Each quiz has a timer, so you can challenge different groups to compete against each other.
  3. Mystery of Time and Space
    This one is addictive. You wake up in a locked room, not knowing who or where you are. You just have to get out. There follows a series of puzzles in which you try to escape from your surroundings. You may also appreciate the walkthrough for when you get completely stuck.
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