Effective Date: November 27, 2007
Responsibility: Superintendent of Program and Schools (Elementary & Secondary)
All staff and students have access to an NNDSB Virtual Library. Each of our secondary school libraries maintains a virtual library web page; our elementary students have access to our Primary or Junior/Intermediate Virtual Library. Each VL is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, available from both home and school. Each virtual library web page contains thousands of dollars worth of subscriptions for our students – subscriptions to online encyclopedias, magazines, newspapers, maps, e-books, video, TV and radio transcripts, bibliographic citation generators and more. These resources are complete, accurate, reliable and safe; they are part of the “deep” Internet which is controlled, ad-free and subscription based.
In addition to leading our students to accurate information, our virtual libraries offer our students equal resources regardless of their location
Research projects should be created whenever possible to take full advantage of subscription information on our Virtual Libraries. Not every project requires all 7 steps and our library staff can assist staff and students as they decide which steps to use for specific projects. VL information should also be used in order whenever possible:
- Encyclopedias to get “the big picture” and who, what, when, where, why information. Our subscriptions provide accurate, ad-free, bias-free data. Encyclopedias generally come in a variety of reading levels
(a) Encyclopedias often provide weblinks to other good sites. Staff and students should use caution in stepping beyond the encyclopedia information.
- Books when appropriate to give in depth coverage of a topic if the book provides current enough, reading-level appropriate information.
- Current sources for up-to-date information on specific aspects of topics. Some of our current subscriptions provide weblinks to other good sites. Staff and students should use caution in stepping beyond the subscription source itself.
- Pre-selected websites.
(a) Our elementary Virtual Library contains a subscription to Student Link2 which provides links to reliable websites arranged according to grade, subjects, and curriculum strands
(b) Our secondary Virtual Libraries contain links to our Board Library Page and also to websites included at the request of teachers.
- Government Information includes subscriptions to E-Stat [Canadian Government statistics], Statistics Canada, Government of Canada departments, especially Justice for law and case studies
- Maps and Atlases include country data plus up-to-date maps and also historical maps.
- Search Engines should be used last and with great caution and only when the previous 6 steps have failed to give adequate information.
(a) Our elementary Virtual Library contains links to age appropriate search engines
(b) Our secondary Virtual Libraries contain links to Google and other search engines. Where Google is used especially for its Image Engine, the Strict Safe search option should be used.
Any secondary student using primary, secondary and/or tertiary sources, whether online or in print, should be required to include in his/her work a bibliography or works cited page.
Although students may wish to begin researching at step 7, that should be the last step used. Projects and research assignments should rely on VL subscriptions to ensure that both staff and students use complete, accurate, reliable and safe information.