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State Expands Online Resources in Schools

    

    Delaware has made all public schools equal when it comes to having access to electronic encyclopedias, magazines, and newspapers for students and teachers to search and read online through a program called UDLib/SEARCH. Training for teachers in using these database resources for the curriculum is also part of the program.

    As of July 2005, the State of Delaware increased funding for UDLib/SEARCH to add all public elementary schools in Delaware to the existing program for public middle schools and high schools.

    "I often say that our students learn to read when they're young and then read to learn for the rest of their lives. The UDLib/SEARCH project will help our students achieve that goal," Gov. Ruth Ann Minner said. "I'm pleased that our state agencies are partnering with the University of Delaware on this worthwhile effort to help our students build on the skills they will need to succeed in college and the workplace."

    Since 1997, the State of Delaware has funded the UDLib/SEARCH program, which provides more than a dozen online databases to all public high schools and middle schools. UDLib/SEARCH is a partnership funded by the state and managed by the University of Delaware Library. Sandra Millard, Assistant Director for Library Public Services, is the Program Director of UDLib/SEARCH at the University of Delaware Library.

    "The UDLib/SEARCH program is an excellent example of one of the many University of Delaware partnerships that help share expertise held at the University for the public good," said David P. Roselle, President of the University of Delaware.

UDLib/SEARCH Program Expanded to All Elementary Schools

    Funding for UDLib/SEARCH to high schools and middle schools has been provided by the Delaware Department of Education since 1997. "UDLib/SEARCH provides equal access to all Delaware public high and middle schools to electronic encyclopedias and thousands of electronic versions of periodicals for student research," said Daniel Rich, Provost at the University of Delaware.

    Beginning in the fall of 2005, additional funding from the State of Delaware via the Department of Education to the University of Delaware Library makes possible the expansion of the UDLib/SEARCH program databases and training to all public elementary schools in Delaware.

    "By the fall of 2005, UDLib/SEARCH elementary level encyclopedia and periodical databases will be accessible to all school libraries, classrooms and computer labs in all Delaware public elementary schools, as well as training for teachers in use of these databases," said Dr. Millard.

    The databases for elementary schools include the encyclopedia World Book Online, and two elementary level online magazine and newspaper databases, EBSCO Searchasaurus Primary Search and SIRS Discoverer.

    Courtney Kaczka, Librarian at Townsend Elementary School in Townsend, Delaware, commented about UDLib/SEARCH access for elementary schools: "Elementary students need time to develop the skills to search the Internet appropriately. UDLib/SEARCH has provided a manageable source of current and varied information for even the youngest of learners. We need to provide information in many formats to encourage, not stifle, the joy of discovering new knowledge."

    The University of Delaware Library manages UDLib/SEARCH, including negotiating subscriptions and license agreements for all UDLib/SEARCH schools. The University of Delaware Library also provides all training and support related to UDLib/SEARCH databases to school librarians, teachers, and administrators in all Delaware public high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools.

    "UDLib/SEARCH is a wonderful example of how different publicly supported agencies, the University of Delaware, the Delaware Department of State, the Delaware Department of Education, are all working together to support Governor Minner's goal of ensuring that all children learn to read and have access to resources and technology to that end," said Susan Brynteson, the May Morris Director of Libraries at the University of Delaware.

    Access to UDLib/SEARCH provides a significant benefit to all schools involved. One middle school librarian said of UDLib/SEARCH: "Quite frankly, I do not know how we ever survived without UDLib/SEARCH. Thanks to the legislature for providing these resources, and thanks to the University of Delaware Library for administering the program. My library has a very small budget, and I could not afford even one of those services per year."

    Most UDLib/SEARCH databases are also available from home and in public libraries to all Delaware residents via DelAWARE®, a program from the Delaware Division of Libraries. The Delaware Division of Libraries and the DelAWARE® databases are funded via the Delaware Department of State. At home, students, teachers and parents should use their public library card with PIN number obtained at their public library and go to the DelAWARE® web site at [www.lib.de.us].

    For more information about UDLib/SEARCH, contact Dr. Sandra Millard, Assistant Director for Library Public Services and Program Director of UDLib/SEARCH at the University of Delaware Library, at (302) 831-2231 or visit the UDLib/SEARCH web site at [http://udlibsearch.lib.udel.edu].

 


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