We talked to Monika about her experience using Polylino.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Monika and I have been an elementary school librarian since 2004. In addition to working at my school, I am also involved in advocating for school libraries nationally. I am passionate about sharing why school libraries are so important!
How do you use Polylino in your library?
Polylino complements our other tools and has become a valued enhancement used in many different ways. For example, when we project a book onto our smartboard, we will at times read the passage ourselve or will use the audio narration. We also use Polylino to complement our collection of physical books. We have a good selection of physical books, but with Polylino we can always be sure that students can read the book they want, especially if multiple students want to read the same title.
We have found that Polylino makes storytime more engaging for everyone, including students who speak a language other than English. They can listen to the book with headphones and can take part in reading with the other students while feeling including and building their home language skills.
We also relied on Polylino a lot when we were transitioning to hybrid and at-home learning during the pandemic. We were very happy to have digital access to books so that no student was left without a book to read.
What do you see as the major benefits of Polylino?
One of the biggest advantages is having digital access to titles and not being limited by the physical amount of books we have. It also lets me use the same book as part of lesson plans and curriculum, since I know that every student will be able to access it.
Another advantage is that it evens the playing field when it comes to reading levels. Some students are embarrassed by reading a different level from their peers, and because the books are digital and on a personal learning device, they can read books that suit them without having to worry about others’ gazes.
Finally, no library can have every book. Polylino adds to our overall selection and allows me to promote books to individual students that I may not have purchased for our library in physical form.
What do the students think of Polylino?
Students love Polylino. A lot of them have discovered different books that they wouldn’t have been exposed to previously, and they particularly enjoy being able to have immediate access to books without having to wait for the book to be returned. I do have some students that still prefer the touch and feel of physical books.
Do you have any tips for other school libraries?
There’s still a lot for us to learn and explore with Polylino. I’d recommend working alongside teachers to test out different ways of partnering and finding the best balance between digital and physical books.