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Aug 20

School Librarian Back to School Update

Posted on August 20, 2015 at 3:57 PM by Lianne Flax

This is a copy of the email posted to the KASL listserv on July 30.

Welcome back, to those of you that were on vacation this summer!  This is your annual “while you were out” news email from the State Library of Kansas.  If you have any questions or requests, please email

Statewide Services FAQs Sheets – Refresh Yourself!

  • School Librarians
  • Teacher Version – please feel free to pass this around to teachers or use in an inservice.  They are welcome to watch database webinar archives, only occasionally will there be librarian-only info in these. 

Database News & Reminder

  • Reminder – check your access!  If your school’s IP addresses changed over the summer, this can impact your access to statewide databases, etc.  Please make sure any links you have set up still work.  If they are not, we can help you fix this.  Email  We will need your new IP address & name of your internet service provider.  Ask your IT department for this information.
  • EBSCO Explora – debuts August 3—EBSCO has created a new multi-search interface for their databases.  You may have already seen a specific email from last week about Explora, and expect another on Monday.  The older kid/student EBSCO multi-searches are now getting quite old and are being retired. An Explora webinar will be September 3.
    • We will have 5 different Exploras.  To see what databases are behind each and preview them before Monday, see this page.  
      • Explora General Research/Public Library (on main Online Resources page).
      • Explora High School (on Students page) – this replaces Student Reference Center.
      • Explora Middle School (on Students page) – replaces Kid Search & Middle Search.
      • Explora Kids (on Kids page) – replaces Searchasaurus.
      • Explora Teacher Resources  – will be on all 3 pages for your convenience.
  • What do I need to do?
    • Linking to the State Library’s Student Research page or Kids page?  You do not need to do anything!  We’ll be removing the retired multi-searches and putting up the Explora versions on Monday.  Links to these pages stay the same.
    • Linking to databases with the statewide links? (use geolocation, see that you are in Kansas by your internet provider). New statewide links to the Exploras will be available on Monday, August 3, in the Explora launch email.  Just take down the retired multi-searches and put up the proper Explora for your school(s).
    • Set up your own direct access through EBSCO Admin?  Login to your EBSCO Admin to access the database IDs/get links for the new Exploras for your site.  Lost your EBSCO Admin over the summer?  Just email us.
    • Database Pages Updates – with the release of Explora, we have taken the opportunity to do a little reorganization of the State Library database pages.  These changes also take place August 3.
      • Main Online Resources page ( note that databases being searched by Explora will now be under “view all” and not be shown in the list of links.  Kids & school-specific databases will no longer be on this page at all, it will be for adult research & learning.
      • Students page (HS – MS) ( ) - obviously, Exploras are replacing the retired interfaces.  We have also removed some that are now sub-databases to Explora (Newspaper, Academic Search, etc).  We believe it will be more worth your time to show students how to do better searches with Explora – such as limiting to newspapers or peer-reviewed if that is the point of their research project – than to continue to provide specific links to duplicated materials.  We’re open to discussion if you do not agree! 
      • Kids page (usually lower elementary ages) ( ) - Explora takes the place of Searchasaurus & Kid Search.  Over the last year, we’ve noticed that mostly lower elementary & even PreK is using this page, so we removed Learning Express (some materials for grade 4, but mostly 5th & higher).  We have added a note on the kids page directing older elementary to visit the Students’ page if they need more advanced materials.

Digital Book eLending News & Reminders

  • Britannica E-STAX – kids nonfiction multi-use ebooks (unlimited copies per book, each kid can use as many books as they want in a session).   Predominantly K-5 interest level.
  • Updates to E-STAX site.  
    • Mostly cosmetic. These came out just this week, so we have not yet had a chance to review all changes.  One beneficial change is that the optional “My Folder” to save personal notes & bookmarks is now more obviously optional!  Previously, the login for My Folder would turn up on specific title records and make students think they had to create a personal login to use the book.
    • New video about using E-STAX posted this morning! Darcy Carson from Britannica presents, she has done webinars for us in the past.
  • Reminder – did you know you can sign up for direct access at school?  All we need is your school’s IP address(es).  Direct access is encouraged as this allows you to fully utilize the MARC records as well and link to specific books for easy school use!  Email us to be set up.
  • ChromeBooks Reminder – more schools are going 1-1 with ChromeBooks now.  This limits what Digital Book services that you can use, as some require installation of software (and a ChromeBook cannot do this).  If/when there are more options for ChromeBooks we will definitely let you know!  Current options:
    • Britannica E-STAX ebooks -main option is to read the book online.
    • Enki eBooks – Read Online option available.
    • OneClickdigital Audiobooks – Listen Online option.
    • Recommended Free Services – both Project Gutenberg (ebooks) and LibriVox (audio) have read/listen online options.  These are books in the public domain, so if you need a classic please look here!  And as these are free & in the public domain, there’s unlimited copies/use.

Upcoming Events

  • State Library Webinars –if you can’t make it, webinars are always recorded & archived.  Information on joining these sessions will be sent to the KASL list closer to the dates.
    • KICNET update - August 13, 10am. For libraries using the statewide ILL network, this session will focus on recent updates & changes, plus reminders of regular maintenance activity. This is not intended as a complete training session; librarians who are new to the ILL network should contact their regional library system for training.  Session with Rhonda from the State Library.
    • EBSCO Explora Training – Sept 3, 10am.  Taught by EBSCO Trainer Lisa.
    • Digital Book eLending Refresher—Sept 10, 10am.  Forgot what we have for statewide ebooks & audiobooks over the summer? Join Lianne from the State Library for an overview.
    • Statewide Databases Refresher – Sept 24, 10am.  An overview of all statewide database offerings with Allie from the State Library.  
    • Kansas Reads to PreSchoolers – November--this year’s title: Is Your Mama a Llama?  No specific dates will be set, just plan any event for November.- Update - most events are gravitating towards a particular week, see the page for more info.

Again, our email is: for any questions or requests!