Online school library: the key to future education

Anishi Patel

As educational institutions all across the world have started to transition to virtual learning during the past year, educators have found that in addition to holding online lectures, office hours, discussions, and tests, facilities such as school libraries have had to be modified and moved online as well. As a result, school librarians have had to quickly adapt to this shift., from teaching colleagues how to use online learning tools such as Google Classroom and Zoom to somehow making their school’s in-person libraries available online. As a result, the usage of ebooks and audiobooks has exploded, and both students and teachers have found themselves navigating a strange, new educational landscape. 

Digital school libraries have quickly become essential to the online learning model. This is where Publica comes in. With offline reading access for users, text-to-audio tools,  unlimited document and publication uploads, mobile device access, and a streamlined easy-to-operate user interface, Publica’s digital library plan is the perfect proposition for educators and institutions looking to provide their students and staff with this necessary virtual resource. 

What can you do with a Publica digital school library?

We provide school libraries at any level, whether elementary, secondary, tertiary or university, the opportunity to upload all of their library’s content onto a single platform. The platform can then be made available to their academic community quickly and easily by being integrated within the school's own virtual campus. We also provide school libraries with other digital books from hundreds of publishers from our collection, which can be used under a library license.

Upload an unlimited number of works

Institutions are able to upload an unlimited number of academic works such as theses, research papers, abstracts, reports, manuscripts, etc. to their digital libraries in PDF, EPUB and MP3 formats. The entire institution’s community will be able to have easy access to the uploaded publications, all through the institution’s own website. On a similar note, Publica’s digital library plans come with anti-piracy protection to ensure that publications are accessible only to the intended audience and no one else.

Publica also offers its own specialized collections in topics such as Education and Children's Literature, Architecture,  Social Sciences and Humanities, Business Sciences, and Multidisciplinary Content, among others. These can be found through the Publica catalog and added to any digital school library.

Customize your library with your school’s logos and colors

As an administrator, you can customize the digital institution’s library with school logos and colors, allowing you to keep the institution’s identity intact. You don’t need to have any previous technical skills, and Publica provides many resources and guides to help administrators in this process. 

Using digital libraries is extremely easy for students too. It doesn’t require any special skills or knowledge, especially since Publica offers administrators the option to integrate the digital school library within the institution’s own website. Essentially, when a student or instructor logs onto the institution’s virtual campus, they will also be given access to all of the digital library's content. This means users won't have to register or log into another platform to access materials.

Search through the library and your school’s other databases with one tool

Furthermore, Publica’s search tool will be able to search through all of the databases that the school or university has access to and identify the requested documents, whether they be your institution’s own uploads or those of external publishers. This makes finding information extremely easy for your users. 

View a variety of user metrics

Administrators will also be able to access and analyze user metrics. This resource offers administrators useful information about their users’ interactions in the library, such as: where users are accessing the library from, what sources are generating the most amount of traffic, and what devices are used. You can also find out which publications are the most popular, as well as how many views each user made,  how much time was spent in the library by each user, and the percentage of each publication users read. 

How does Publica’s digital school library enhance the reader’s experience?

With Publica’s reader digital library, users can access a multitude of features that enhance the reading experience. For example, users can:

  • Convert text to audio
  • Publica’s text-to-audio is a disability-inclusive feature, which allows students who require other modes of learning to access their educational content easily.
  • Read offline
  • The option to read offline ensures that students without access to internet services can still download their content at school and read it anytime, anywhere. This also gives students, who participate in extracurriculars, have jobs or other commitments that keep them out of the house, the opportunity to access their materials and learn on the go.
  • Translate the text into English, Spanish, Portuguese or Italian.
  • Students learning other languages can use Publica’s digital library features to enhance their understanding of the material by viewing it in different languages.
  • Highlight sections of text and create summaries
  • Search for information and keywords 
  • Traditional textbooks do not allow students to find information quickly. Rather, users have to use glossaries, section summaries, and other organizational sections to pinpoint the information they are looking for. With Publica’s digital library, users can search for information and keywords directly, maximizing the time spent learning and making studying for students much easier.
  • Generate bibliography   using popular citation styles 
  • Throughout a student’s education, they will be tasked with citing sources and prove the credibility of their information when writing essays and research papers. Publica makes this process easy. Instead of using external sites like NoodleTools or EasyBib, students can now generate bibliographic citations in standard academic formats within the Publica digital library itself.

Finally, the ability to access Publica’s libraries from any mobile device due to integrated iOS and Android apps allows students to learn and access school material without the need of using laptops or specialized equipment like Chromebooks. Educational inequality has become more apparent than ever during the pandemic, and Publica’s multitude of digital library tools are a step toward ensuring that all students have access to education no matter what their circumstances are.

Digital libraries will still play a large role, even when schools transition back to in-person learning.  The world is becoming more and more digitized, especially with the new generations, so students will appreciate the option of having digital school material. Not to mention the fact that access to digital educational libraries will eliminate the burden of carrying heavy textbooks and reading material to and from school. For these reasons, the school experience will dramatically change for both students and teachers.

Schools will also save on textbook and printing costs while also helping the environment and transitioning to eco-friendly models of teaching and learning. 

For students, the ability to access learning materials easily from their mobile devices will reduce stress, streamline learning and the completion of assignments, and ensure that those with busy schedules can complete their work and access their materials from anywhere too.