All around the state, libraries are promoting the TexShare databases to their students and patrons for research, homework help, genealogy, and more. We at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) think the TexShare databases are worth shouting about. And so are the libraries that are doing the shouting, helping give their community access to its amazing and life-changing suite of resources. We want to give a big TexShare ShoutOut to all the great efforts.
Hondo Public Library
Elsie Purcell, Library Director at Hondo Public Library, had a couple of people comment that they hadn’t known about the databases before, so Elsie wrote several articles about them.
In Hondo, all new members receive three brochures: a basic one about the library, memberships, fines, etc.; one about Libby/Overdrive; and one about the online resources (copy attached). This includes their county patrons who were recently added through COVID funding from their County Commissioners.
Before the pandemic, they used to hold an annual Teacher Appreciation event and share information about the resources available for them and their students. Library staff talk to them about the databases for their students including Learning Express for STAAR test practice but also about Teaching Books.net for the teachers to use in lesson planning.
Twice a year, Hondo holds a 7 week program called Hondo U; citizens apply to attend and each week they learn about one of the departments or divisions of the City. Elsie’s portion of the presentation is limited to 15-20 minutes during our week but she does manage to make a brief mention of the databases to them.
Elsie has done two videos as part of their virtual programming – Friday Facts and Fun. These are posted to Facebook and then uploaded to YouTube.
October 23, 2020 – Learning Express – https://youtu.be/sV5dKqkVHrY
March 12, 2021 – Chilton Library – https://youtu.be/U7IcnJU05wQ
Bee Cave Public Library
While Bee Cave Public Library has been closed to the public, they’ve been working on online tutorials for their digital resources. They added a page to their website to explain their digital resources and a page that links to all of their video tutorials. Topics include an overview of TexShare, Explora Elementary, Credo Reference, and Learning Express Library.
They also created a fun video spoofing Dead Poets Society to highlight both TexShare and the work their reference librarians do. TexShare Society tells the story of a teen doing remote learning and his mom trying to find research help for a homework project. The librarian helps them “seize the database” and directs them to the many resources that TexShare offers.
Bastrop Public Library
Besides their web page devoted to TexShare, Bastrop Public Library highlights five topics/databases with the stacks:
- Home Improvement
- Hobbies and Crafts
- Small Engine Repair
For the first three, they have the bookmarks provided by TSLAC in holders out in the stacks near the Dewey numbers. They did print on mailing labels the website and log-on information so that patrons can easily access.
For the Small Engine Repair database, they advertised it using a flyer.
For the medical databases, they created miniature brochures that they could easily slip into their pocket or purse in case patrons felt discomfort or embarrassment to discuss with staff.
Northeast Lakeview College Library
The Northeast Lakeview College Library, part of the Alamo Colleges District, has been making a huge push to let their students, faculty, and staff know about their databases and how to access them. They have been using weekly blog posts to let students, faculty, and staff know what databases they have access to through the library. In most cases, they are spotlighting a database, showing how to conduct searches, and narrowing results to get their visitors to the most useful information in their research. This has been a successful campaign with more than 450 views from June 2020 to January 2021.
Please send what you or another library are doing to promote the databases and any ideas for the “TexShare ShoutOuts” blog series to: firstname.lastname@example.org