On November 24-25, the entire Learning Commons staff closed the library and traveled to the exotic nation of Bahrain for an intensive two-day training and update sponsored by Follett, the company responsible for Destiny, our school’s online library catalog system. We were joined by librarians from ISG Dammam, ISG Jubail, and librarians from other schools in the region! Over the course of two days, our newest staff had the opportunity to see some of the features that are available in Destiny, and our veteran staff learned about many of the advanced functionalities and reports that are available as well as some of the new features of the latest updates. One of the most valuable resources that we were able to spend time learning about is Destiny Discover. We are now able to curate lists of resources including books, websites, and more to help students find what they need more easily. It is also a user-friendly format for younger students and can be quite engaging! Our elementary librarians will be sharing more about this in their classes in the upcoming months as we explore more about it.
In addition to learning about Follett and Destiny products and services, some of us were able to tour a brand new local school, Beacon Private School, that has an innovative English/Arabic library that was fascinating to explore! Meeting other librarians in the region and sharing ideas and success stories was one of our favorite parts of the conference!
On the last day, Learning Commons Coordinator, Yvonne Mayo, and our newest librarian, Kirsten Vogt, presented a session entitled "Library Redesign on a Shoestring Budget," based on our successful rebranding and renovations of the Learning Commons last year and continuing this year. As Special Projects Manager last year, Kirsten played a key role in the redesign process, and has since become a part of the LC team as she became more invested in the LC and its programs and wanted to be a part of its success. Yvonne shared before and after pictures of the LC and showed how paint and rearranging shelving and furniture have made the library a more welcoming and functional space that is shared by all of the schools on our campus. We were thrilled to be asked to present and share what is happening at ISG Dhahran!