Teach With INFOhio

Lead from the Library: INFOhio Campus Offers Pathways to Empowerment

Author // Tracy Varner Monday, 27 September 2021

Welcome back for the 2021-2022 school year! It has been a busy month at INFOhio and we’ve had the opportunity to meet new librarians from all over the state. This summer, our team developed new learning pathways and updated additional pathway classes to design professional development for those new to working in a school library.  


There’s a lot to learn when you are a new school librarian and INFOhio has all the resources librarians and library staff need to lead from the library. Before you can empower your students and teachers, you must develop your sense of empowerment, by gaining confidence in managing your school library. The perfect place to start is by exploring some of the classes designed for new librarians in INFOhio's Learning Pathways. Participants in all INFOhio Learning Pathways classes earn a contact hour certificate upon the completion of the final quiz for each class. 


Empowering Yourself


School Library Basics Learning Pathway 

This Learning Pathway is for new Ohio school librarians or library staff who have not completed a graduate program in library science. More classes will be added throughout the 2021-2022 school year.

  • Introduction to INFOhio Class - Learn more about INFOhio, Ohio's PreK-12 Digital Library, with a wealth of resources available at no cost to Ohio students, parents, and educators. This class will help participants learn to navigate the site easily and identify the available resources and web tools with digital content. 

  • Library Management Class (COMING SOON) - Explore library policies and guidelines, learn how to shelve books, create a library schedule, and use reports that will help you communicate, collaborate and document your library’s activities.

  • Collection Development Class - Understand how your collection development policy guides your selection, acquisition, maintenance, and retention of materials by establishing roles, responsibilities, and a process for addressing library user concerns.

  • Information Literacy Class - Explore the structure of the inquiry framework and find resources and tools to build the information literacy skills your students and teachers need for success.

  • Advocacy: Sharing the Value of Your School Library Class - Learn about the importance of promoting your school library and develop a plan to help raise awareness of the services and support available. 

  • Fetch Class - If your school library automates with the INFOhio Library Services Platform, you can learn more about Fetch, INFOhio's online catalog for students in grades K-2. Fetch is a simple web-based catalog for the youngest of users and includes a visual search, reading program search, and advanced search options. 


BLUEcloud Learning Pathway 

The BLUEcloud Learning Pathway includes two classes for new school librarians.


  • ISearch for Librarians Class - If your school library automates with the INFOhio Library Services Platform (LSP), ISearch will allow you to search nearly all INFOhio resources, along with the contents of your school library, from a single search box, making it easier for you to find the right print and digital texts and other content for your students and staff. School library staff will learn how to use ISearch to find resources for students and staff and how to teach them to use ISearch for their research. Participants will also learn customization options that they can use to refine their ISearch experience.

  • Introduction to Cataloging Class - Develop a more complete understanding of how and why we catalog the way we do. This class is for new Ohio school librarians or Ohio school library staff who have not completed a graduate program in library science.  




Empowering Your Teachers and Students


When you have tackled the basics of managing your school library you will feel empowered to learn more about INFOhio’s free, high-quality, instructional resources available to teachers, students, and their families. Allow time to explore these resources in advance so you are confident when sharing them with others. Taking a self-paced, asynchronous class from INFOhio is simple and you can earn contact hours that support the renewal of your educational aide or teaching license. 


K-5 Digital Content Learning Pathway

INFOhio's quality resources and tools for K-5 teachers and students support Ohio Learning Standards, provide a foundation of learning using a variety of media and prepare learners for future success. Choose to complete individual classes in this INFOhio Learning Pathway, or complete the full K-5 Digital Content Learning Pathway to earn up to 20 contact hours. 

 K-5 Learning Pathway


Classes in this Pathway include: 

  • BookFlix - This literacy resource for students in grades PreK-3 includes 140+ pairs of fiction and nonfiction popular texts that engage readers and support literacy. Students build foundational skills through making connections, building background knowledge, and building vocabulary. A read-aloud feature is available and can be disabled as readers progress. Librarians and Library Staff can lead from the library when they share this BookFlix Best Practices Guide with teachers, introducing them to the variety of ways BookFlix can be used in the classroom. After successfully completing the final quiz, earn a certificate for two contact hours.



  • Storia - The 1200+ eBooks included in the collection are hand-selected to support Ohio's Learning Standards. Storia tracks information in an easy-to-use management system that provides statistics on the amount of time spent reading, the number of words looked up, highlighted passages, notes taken for understanding, and the score on the formative assessment for each title. This valuable data can be used to create student learning objectives and to support the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System. Lead from the library by connecting teachers to this How to Get Started with Storia Teach with INFOhio news item; then, help teachers sign up, create their accounts, and roster students. After successfully completing the final quiz, earn a certificate for three contact hours.



  • World Book Kids - Librarians and Library Staff can lead from the library by introducing colleagues to INFOhio’s Educator Tools where the World Book Kids WebQuest list can be found. Each WebQuest has a print and digital option for lessons accompanying World Book Kids articles that students will need to read to answer the WebQuest questions. Students with internet access can search for the related articles in World Book Kids to answer the WebQuest questions. Students without the internet can complete the quest using printable copies of the articles. Each WebQuest opens as a PDF, making the full activity easy to save or print for immediate use.



World Book Kids provides many accommodation tools to help every student access this content including an autocorrect feature to assist young users with direct searches. There’s a read-aloud function including word-by-word highlighting and the ability to change the speed and sound of the reader’s voice. You can even translate all articles into over 100 languages. See this list of available translation languages. After successfully completing the final quiz, earn a certificate for two contact hours.

6-12 Digital Content Learning Pathway

INFOhio's digital tools and resources for teachers and students in grades 6-12 support the Ohio Learning Standards, provide a foundation for the inquiry process that connects classroom learning with real-world applications and transform students into educators, researchers, and advocates. Choose to complete individual classes in this INFOhio Learning Pathway, or complete the full 6-12 Digital Content Learning Pathway to earn up to 20 contact hours.

 6-12 Learning Pathway


Classes in this Pathway include: 

  • What is Inquiry? - Explore INFOhio's Dimensions of Inquiry model, designed to support students and teachers through the inquiry process. The 6 different dimensions that comprise this model lay the foundation for many INFOhio tools created for student learning. In this Pathway, you will connect new Dimensions of Inquiry knowledge with GO! Ask, Act, Achieve (GO!) and Research 4 Success (R4S), INFOhio tools that support students’ inquiry as they question, discover, learn, and grow. Lead from the library as you partner with content area teachers and their students, learning to locate and evaluate information for research and inquiry projects. After successfully completing the final quiz, earn a certificate for two contact hours.



  • IWonder - Learn more about IWonder, an inquiry-based tool developed by INFOhio. Age-appropriate websites are selected by teachers and librarians to support homework and inquiry-based learning. This class will help teachers use IWonder with students as they develop questions and locate information to facilitate the inquiry process using age-appropriate websites aligned to Ohio's Learning Standards. After successfully completing the final quiz, earn a certificate for two contact hours.




  • ISearch for Inquiry - Learn more about ISearch, INFOhio's discovery search interface, and its role in the inquiry process. ISearch lets you search nearly all INFOhio resources from a single search box. For schools automated with INFOhio LSP, the library catalog search is incorporated in the search results. Participants will learn how to use ISearch to lead students through the inquiry process while incorporating the different dimensions that comprise INFOhio's inquiry model. Lead from the library by partnering with content-area teachers as they introduce the differences between scholarly and popular articles and evaluate them using specified criteria. After successfully completing the final quiz, earn a certificate for two contact hours.


To learn more about all the digital content and tools that INFOhio offers, check out our Teach & Learn with INFOhio: Digital Resources for a Digital Age document. Each grade level band Ages 3-5, Grades K-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12 has a flyer of resources, which makes it easier to determine what will be suitable for your students. Share these updates with staff at your school or with parents, with the Back to School 2021-2022 slideshow presentation.


As always, share how #INFOhioWorks for you on social media. Stay Connected by joining INFOhio’s email list!


As you can see, you aren’t in this alone.  We are here to help!  If you have questions visit support.infohio.org

About the Author

Posted by: Tracy Varner

Tracy Varner is a Professional Technical Support Specialist with INFOhio. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Cincinnati, and a Master of Teacher Leadership from Wright State University where she also earned licensure in School Library Media and an administrator license in Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development. Tracy assists K-12 public, private, and parochial school educators in the implementation of SirsiDynix's Symphony and Enterprise Library Services Platform in addition to INFOhio's PreK-12 Digital Library resources. She enjoys combining her love of all things library/technology and the opportunity for coaching and collaborating with librarians and teachers. In her 28-year career as an educator, she has served as an elementary classroom teacher, an elementary, middle, and high school librarian, a district technology coordinator, and an INFOhio Provider at the Hamilton Clermont Cooperative ITC.

Tracy Varner
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