Teacher Leaders Learn about Maine’s Virtual Library

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By Emily Jackson Sanborn

I am the librarian and MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL) at the Orono Middle and High Schools, and I did a webinar for MARTLs on the range of resources available in the MARVEL databases this past school year, as well as two sessions at the MARTL summer conference.

All Maine citizens have free access to MARVEL, which contains research databases for preK-12 students (and beyond) that would cost individual schools or libraries tens of thousands of dollars in subscriptions. A full range of school topics are covered including history, science, literature, math, primary sources, newspapers, encyclopedias, and more. There is something for everyone in MARVEL!

Every student graduating from Maine schools should have experience with these resources — it will give them a leg up in post-secondary education and in the workplace.  Your local school librarian should be able to work with teachers on the best ways to use the MARVEL resources in the classroom. Access to all databases should be free, but students will need to create free login accounts when using them from home. See the MARVEL help page or contact your school librarian for details!

In my schools, when teachers assign projects I teach students how to use the databases and get access to articles, I create suggested database lists for specific projects, and I provide access and search tips for students to use when they are at home.

Here are some quick tips for using the databases:

  • You can look at MARVEL databases alphabetically, or browse the subject terms on the left.
  • When searching, choose “full text only” when possible so you don’t frustrate students with articles they can’t get.
  • Use the one-search box on the homepage to search a variety of databases and see the top results.
  • If you have any problems, contact your school librarian, or your public library, or use the MARVEL contact form.

Sample slides from the webinar:


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