Magazine article American Libraries

Custom-Made Library Skills Exercises

Magazine article American Libraries

Custom-Made Library Skills Exercises

Article excerpt

The Skills Maker program enables users to create and print library skills exercise sheets customized to the holdings of a particular library. Four lessons teach the card catalog and location skills, two lessons deal with the Readers' Guide, and one covers reference skills. Each student receives a different set of questions, and the program also prints a complete answer key for each set of exercises.

The librarian designing the exercises chooses the books, authors, call numbers, and subjects to be used and then enters them onto the disks. The exercise sheets are generated from that data. Any item can later be changed or replaced if it turns out to have been a poor choice.

The program is based on Formats: A Kit to Teach Students How to Find Things in the Library by Themselves, a set of printed forms with a manual developed by Robert Skapura 10 years ago. Skapura computerized his original publication for his firm, the Library Software Company. …

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