I think it really depends on the needs of your users. If you are getting lots of use from a particular like English, then you may want to start by purchasing a database that will meet their research needs. The curriculum/standards your teachers emphasize in research are also critical---if you can get an idea of what topics they may focus on for the upcoming year or find out what they focused on last year, then you will have a great starting point of knowing how to focus your purchases.
GALE Virtual Reference Library gets our biggest use---we have purchased over 300+ titles, and it is usually hands down the student favorite for research. I tested out and then bought GALE Global Issues in Context---I really like it, too. I also loved the Bloom's/Literature database from Facts on File, but our teachers are doing less lit crit now, so I did not renew it---however, if your teachers are doing that, it is awesome.
Thanks for the great advice.. What about social studies/history and science? Have your teachers in these departments expressed an interest in any databases?
And Galileo? Do your students use it much? In elementary that was an old tried and true online resource for us.
I like the GALE databases as well as ABC-CLIO for History; GVRL or free science magazines have met our science needs. GALILEO usage also fluctuates---Britannica and Academic Search Complete are the two we use most as well as EBSCOhost Literary Reference Center; we also sometimes use EBSCOhost Student Research Center.
I think what you are using and how often really goes back to knowing what topics your teachers are going to focus on in research projects. There are lots of great databases out there, but if the topics don't mesh up with the content, then they will not be very useful. We use many free information sources in conjunction with our databases---I really try to provide a balanced "diet" of info sources for our students and teachers.
Hi, we have ABC-CLIO and the humanities department is very happy about it. We recently subcribed to WDI Online (The Woeld Bank) as a request from the same department. Last year, we added JSTOR to our collection, and it has been a success among the 11th-12th graders (DP1 and DP2 - we are an IB school). We also offer EBSCO, which is mostly used by the primary and middle school students.
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In an ongoing effort to recruit a new generation of school library leaders, Mansfield University recently received a fifth Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS) grant to fund scholarships for its totally online School Library & Information Technologies Master of Education degree program with school library certification. If you know of an educator or non-certified librarian seeking school library certification, please pass along the news that we are still accepting applications for the spring 2012 semester.
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