The following includes portions of an article I wrote for the Winter VSLA Newsletter. I hope you'll continue reading past the info some of you already know about VTcite and help others by sharing some of your knowledge and expertise with library automation systems.
For the past two years I have had the unique opportunity to work on a collaborative project between VITA-Learn and the University of Vermont creating a web portal for those of us concerned with improving student learning through the integration of technology. This portal, the Vermont Commons for Information Technology Educators, or VTcite, is a place where educators can share public resources and news, as well as hold online forums.
I encourage you to visit the VTcite website at http://vtcite.org/ and peruse all the offerings available. As we all know, technology is playing an ever-increasing role in education, and this website has many curricular and professional development resources which, through increased participation, can only grow in usefulness to all educators.
I am currently the President Elect of the Vermont School Library Association (VSLA). You may have heard of our organization under its previous name: the Vermont Educational Media Association (VEMA). At our 2007 Fall Conference, Sheila Kearns, Director of Information Technology Services at the Vermont Department of Libraries, presented her findings on the research she performed regarding library automation systems. Due to recent changes with some of our vendors, a number of schools are faced with finding a new system. To further assist our VSLA membership with the decisions around moving to new library automation systems, I have added the information Sheila compiled to the resources section at VTcite. The easiest way to access this particular information would be to simply type “library automation” into the VTcite search bar and click on “Search.” At the next screen you will see a list of these resources. By clicking on a title, you’ll be able to download a file containing information on that particular system.
Sheila’s spreadsheet provides us with the critical information about the various systems. And through our listserv we can share our thoughts on the systems we’re familiar with. So why use VTcite? With VTcite, all of this would be in one place. At the top of each resource description you can add your own rating using a 1-5 star rating system. And at the end of each description is a place where you can post your own comments and read those of others. As my school faces this decision in the near future, it would be incredibly helpful to draw upon our shared knowledge and expertise.
Thanks, and I hope you will take advantage of this great resource developed for and by Vermont educators.