Stromness Academy Library

Books, reading and life in a school library

Library back in Action


All pupils have now been back for just under two weeks and we are getting into the swing of things again. Some classes have been coming in, in particular, the S2 History classes for the Explorers project. Small S3 groups are booked to use PCs for the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI), and small groups or individuals have been coming from English or other subjects to return or borrow books as well as use the PCs. It is very nice to touch base with many of the regular library users, who are now visiting at break or lunchtime and the Senior Phase lunchtime Dungeons & Dragons group has now restarted. S6 pupils have been using both the upper and lower library for study and have access to the computers, however many have their own laptops which they are encouraged to use.

S2 Explorers

During the first week back the library saw all S2 History classes visiting to be introduced to OLIVER, the new online library catalogue, being given a chance to log in, change passwords and explore the site.

They were also introduced to LearnPath, which is used to curate information (videos, documents, websites, etc) on specific topics. There are now a few guides available and these will, in due course, replace all the LiveBinders in the Subject Links section of this blog with.






Book Borrowing

Book borrowing is still minimal but is picking up. Pupils and staff are encouraged to return their overdue books, some of which date back to the first lock down. Overdue reminders are now sent to users via their Glow email. Pupils should be encouraged to check emails regularly, including the junk folder as sometimes the emails via Oliver end up in it.

Everyone should check emails sent at the beginning of February as that was when instructions, usernames, passwords for Oliver were sent to everyone. Users, when logged in can check check their profiles, current loans, loan history, create favourites, save searches, write book reviews, and make reservations, all from any school PC, the comfort of home, and on the go using a mobile phone or tablet. Pupils can also search for books on the Accelerated Reader programme. Use the Accelerated Reader Search in Oliver. It can be found on the home page or select the option from the ‘Search’ menu.

Pupils can borrow books for up to 4 weeks:

S1 – 3: 4 books
S4 – 6: 6 books
Staff: 15 books

Anyone can ask to be able to borrow more books if appropriate. Books can only be borrowed if the pupil has not outstanding loans, which is why it is important for the overdue books to be returned. Returned books should be placed in the black box in the window bay at the top of the slope into the library and Mrs Sinclair informed.

The COVID Stuff

To enable the library to keep functioning and be available to all we are still encouraging social distancing between pupils. In the main, this is because the library also functions as a social area. The Reference Section has now been reinstated (after being used as a storage area) which means we have a little more capacity in the Lower Library where we can seat 12 at tables (with flexible option for up to 16 if required), 11 individual chairs, and 9 at PCs. The Upper Library can seat 22 at tables and is where the research classes are now based and has access to screen, projector and laptop (for staff), and small whiteboard.

Key points

  • Sanitise hands on entering and leaving the library, and in between sections when browsing books, and before and after using stationery or computers.
  • When browsing keep handling of books to a minimum.
  • Clean desks, chairs (including adjustment leavers on PC chairs), computer keyboards and mice after use.
  • Leave windows open or on ventilation setting. Wear warm clothing
  • Leave furniture where it is.
  • Return books to quarantine box.
  • Use good cough and sneeze etiquette (into elbow crook or a tissue).
  • Sit in seats rather than wander about.
  • Maintain social distancing as far as is possible. (You will be reminded regularly.)








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