INFOhio Transforms Content Delivery for PreK-12 Students: From Physical Classrooms to Virtual SchoolRooms

INFOhio Transforms Content Delivery for PreK-12 Students: From Physical Classrooms to Virtual SchoolRooms

Theresa M. Fredericka, Jennifer Schwelik
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4502-8.ch060
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This chapter presents a case study of how INFOhio, Ohio’s library and information network for PreK-12 schools, transformed content delivery through partnerships and collaborations to benefit today’s digital learners. It chronicles the formation of a unique relationship between INFOhio and library software vendor SirsiDynix, a partnership that was shaped by the common vision of creating a virtual classroom of reference, research, and discovery material to support student curricular needs. Discussion covers the creation and implementation of the Discovery Portal for student research and inquiry, which brings together Internet content, electronic resources, and physical library materials under one, online interface for Ohio students. Significant traditional and non-traditional partnerships have enabled INFOhio to become one of the largest school library Information Technology projects in the country.
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Infohio: A Case Study

The Vision

In November 1989, a group of school librarians in northeast Ohio proposed a statewide plan to automate school libraries. The first two libraries, Austintown Fitch and Boardman high schools, were automated in 1994. Now, a little more than twenty years later (as of January 2011), 2,447 individual school libraries, serving more than 1.1 million students, are automated and networked together by INFOhio with library automation software from SirsiDynix.

In addition to this very successful effort that created interconnected virtual catalogs among these school libraries, INFOhio realized that every student needed access to a robust virtual reference environment. INFOhio quickly expanded beyond a library automation project to include providing electronic and digital resources, resource sharing, professional development, information literacy instruction, and support for teachers and parents. The mission statement of INFOhio accurately reflects that it “supports and enriches teaching and learning by providing equitable access to quality resources for Ohio’s PreK-12 community of students, educators, and parents” (About INFOhio, 2009).

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