Sunday, May 11, 2014

#11 library apps

Destiny and MackinVia
The Rochester Public Schools elementary schools use Destiny library automation from Follett. They introduced an app with their upgrade last year. We got it in December of last year since we didn't have a programmer on staff who could assist with the upgrade, but it is all better, now. I have used the app and like some of the options that are avaiable to patrons, but don't find that it functions as well for library managers. It has a good seach and some fun lists for students to use. THe lists are 
Top 10 
New books
Public lists
My lists
My account
I do like the new books list, because I can see which of the new books have been snatched up by students and which many need some selling. 
The bookshelf is a place to keep personal lists so I am not sure why I would use it. It is different than the Public lists and My lists, but my lists are both pubic and mine since I have mede them for my staff and students. 
If more of my students have access to iPads, I will have them give this app a try in the fall. It would be useful to have the OPAC in their hands as they browse the stacks. 

The other app that we are using is MackinVia. We are keeping our ebooks, audiobooks and databases there. Students access it with their district login and password both at home and at school. That access is easier than trying to connect all of the different media through Destiny. We tried that last year and really struggled with ebooks that wouldn't open or that sent patrons to different platforms each with their own login and password. In order to make school use easier, we have added a link to the banner on each school's homepage. It is still a challenge to get the information our to all our staff, but they are making good use of it this spring. 
MackinVia puts all our non-print media in once place with a federated search and a backpack to keep favorites and note taking and highlighting features. I believe that the more staff using it, the more they will like it. We just have to keep talking it up. 

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